April 7

Text: Matthew 12:47-50

And someone said to Him, "Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside seeking to speak to You.”  But He answered the one who was telling Him and said, "Who is My mother and who are My brothers?"  And stretching out His hand toward His disciples, He said, "Behold, My mother and My brothers!  For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother." (NASB)

Jesus’ devotion to people was incredible!  He rarely knew the privacy that we value so dearly.  He faced the never-ending demands of the needy with compassionate understanding (consider Mark 6:30-34).  He stayed up late to minister to people and got up early for personal time (consider Mark 1:32-35).  He met needs without anger, bitterness, or resentment.  Those who serve people marvel at his patience.

He was able to serve others unselfishly because of his view of people.  They were not ignorant, stupid beings who deserved their struggles.  They were family in a family-oriented society. 

People respond to caring respect.  They may realize the caring later when they reflect on what happened.  However, nothing touches hearts or changes lives as does genuine concern.  People in need can separate those who go through the motions from those who care.  They exploit those who go through the motions.  They respond to those who care.  Jesus cared!

Jesus was not rejecting his natural family in his concern for others (consider John 19:25-27).  His statement was one of inclusion, not exclusion.  It was a statement of commitment: “I am as committed to you as I am to my family.  Mutual commitment to God is more important than a birth relationship!”

Our ability to trust Jesus’ promises is founded on our confidence in his concern for us.  Just as with having loving parents, we may not grasp his deeds, but we never doubt his genuine concern. 

Suggestion for reflection: Dare to care and accept genuine, loving concern!  (Read Romans 8:31-37.)

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 Copyright 2011 David Chadwell