Faith Daily |20 July 2021
PRAYER of the DAY - PENTECOST APBA p563
you alone can order our unruly wills and affections:
teach us to love what you command,
and to desire what you promise,
that, among the changes and chances of this world,
our hearts may surely there be fixed
where true joys are to be found;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
GOSPEL for the Day: Matthew 12: 46-50
46While he was still speaking to the crowds, his mother and his brothers were standing outside, wanting to speak to him. 47Someone told him, “Look, your mother and your brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.” 48But to the one who had told him this, Jesus replied, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” 49And pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 50For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”
GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by: Debbie Pringle
Jesus’ family would have travelled about 20 miles from Nazareth to see Jesus. They had heard reports that He had lost His mind, and had come to take Him away. (Mark 3:21)
Jesus’ reaction to them would have been scandalous in Jewish society. Jesus, as He often did, turned earthly values upside down. Donald English said,” Stronger ties even than blood ties are now being forged. In the perspective of the kingdom ‘the family’ consists of whoever does God’s will.“
Tom Wright wrote,”The point here is not so much a negative one about his physical family, as a strong and positive one about his disciples. They are doing his will, he declares, by listening to his kingdom teaching. They are therefore his true family.”
At the time of this event, Jesus’ mother and brothers did not understand Jesus’ mission. John 7:5 says that even His own brothers did not believe in Him. At some point they did come to believe. After Jesus’ resurrection they were in constant prayer with the disciples in the upper room, waiting for the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 1:14) His brother James became the leader of the early church and Jude wrote the letter that bears his name. Some scholars think that His brother Simeon became the second leader of the church after James was killed.
I like to think that Jesus found His earthly family after he had finished teaching and spoke with them. This passage is a wonderful reminder that we are all part of God’s family. Other Christians are our brothers and sisters and we should love them as such.
FINAL PRAYER: 2011, by Andrew Cornes
“Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.“
Father in Heaven,
We thank you for the great Christian family into which you have put us.
We ask that we may show and receive the same love within this family
that we seek to show and love to receive from our human families,
for which we also thank you,
whether to us at the moment they are a joy,
or a cross at least in some respects that we have to bare.
We thank you in Jesus’ name. Amen.