From today’s reading: Matthew 12:46-50; Mark 3:31-35; Luke 8:19-21
I have had an older brother my whole life. He is 6 years older than I am. I think he is smarter, though the jury is still debating that one. He is slimmer (not the Dutch word, but the English one 😉 ). He has traveled over much more of the world than I. He knows much more about sports then I. However, I did just beat him and other family members in a fantasy baseball team. I have taken a screen shot of the standings as proof that I won the season.
My brother has taught me a few things along the way. I am sure that he has taught me much more than I can recall. Since our parents divorced when I was 7 I assume he took over some of the fathering role. I have fond memories of him taking me to the movies to see “King Kong” in 1976. It was a cool memory because he drove and it was not close by. We were on an adventure or so it seemed.
Just this past May, my son, my brother and I went on a very cool trip to Iceland (no pun intended). You can read about our trip and see photos here – Iceland 2010. All in all he is a pretty good brother. Not perfect, not fantastic, but a good brother. I appreciate him, he tries. He loves my wife and kids and for that I really appreciate him.
But what if someone wanted to have a perfect brother. What would that look like? I suppose he would always be there for you. In thick and thin, he would always be there. He would know everything and be able to answer any questions. He would be able to through a perfect spiral football pass. He could help you with algebra and trigonometry. He would teach you how to find the perfect girlfriend and the how to propose marriage. He would be able to help you change the oil in the car or at least give you a ride to the hardware store. He would sit and listen to your problems have offer sage advice. How could someone possibly obtain a perfect brother?
Well, in today’s verses we see that Jesus tells us how to be called his brothers. You and I could be considered a brother of Jesus. Wouldn’t that be cool? Jesus would be the perfect brother. He would be able to meet all your brotherly needs. He could listen, counsel, advise, warn, correct and encourage you. He could protect you from trouble and cheer you up when you are down. He could even save you from your own mistakes and the erase the guilt.
Matthew 12:50 (NLT)
50 Anyone who does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother!”
Mark 3:33 – 35 (NLT)
33 Jesus replied, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?” 34 Then he looked at those around him and said, “Look, these are my mother and brothers. 35 Anyone who does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”
Luke 8:21 (NLT)
21 Jesus replied, “My mother and my brothers are all those who hear God’s word and obey it.”
Due to the synoptic Gospels we get the answer three times. The answers are fairly consistent. The brothers of Jesus are those that do the will of God when they hear God’s word and obey it
Simple idea – hard to do. There is a lot that can be said about what is the will of God and how are we able to know what it is and then actually be successful in doing it. But I think you can be pretty sure if you follow the greatest commandment of God, you will be extremely close to doing the will of God, if not actually doing it.
What is the greatest commandment you ask:
Matthew 22:34 – 40 (NLT)
34Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question:
36"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" 37Jesus replied: " ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."
It sure looks easy, but it is hard. The reward of a well tried effort is that you get Jesus as a brother.