Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Do you know your brothers and sisters?

by Randy Tudy
Do you experience being insulted in front of many people?

One interesting story in the Bible is the gospel of today (Mark 3:31-35).  Jesus' mother and brothers arrived in the house where Jesus was preaching with so many people surrounding Him.  Having difficulty of entering the house, they asked that Jesus be notified that they are outside soaking wet in perspiration under the scorching heat of the sun.  I could just imagine the suffering of Jesus' mother and his brothers while waiting outside, after all they are supposed to be VIPs  because of their relationship to Jesus.

I think they were so excited to be given a privileged pass to the house.  It did not happen.  I could also imagine their shame when Jesus responded to the notice.  Jesus said, "Who is my mother and who are my brothers?"  Boom!!! The VIPs lost their status.  Jesus continued, "My mother and my brothers are those who listen to the Word of God."  Then pointing to those around Him Jesus explained, "Here are my mother and brothers.  For whoever does the will of my Father is my mother, sister and brother."

Let us not interpret the verses literary as if Jesus insulted His mother and brothers.  Jesus, in this passage, was emphasizing the importance of listening to the Word of God.  As we celebrate Bible Week, let us be reminded of what Jesus said.  It is an inspiration to see people using the Bible in their meal prayers at home or Bible study at home.  The Bible continues to be a source of inspiration for many people.  It is also a challenge to be active, full and conscious especially during the Bible reading in our Church services.  God is speaking to us through these means.

But wait!  The story did not end on listening the Word of God.  Jesus added that whoever does the will of the Father is His mother, sister and brother.  Thus, it is not enough to just listen to the Word of God.  The Word of God should guide us in following His will.  That's why after the mass, the priest would say, "Go in the peace and love of God!"  That is a sending forth telling the people to do the WILL of God.

What is the implication of this gospel for us, Christians?  Jesus gave us a very important lesson.
LISTEN & FOLLOW.  First, we listen to the Word of God by reading the Bible or listening to it in the Church or wherever opportunity presents. After listening, give time to reflect.  Put the Word of God in practice. That is doing the will of the Father.  Then, we are worthy to be called JESUS' mother, sister or brother.

Randy T.

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