“Whoever does God’s will is my brother, sister, and mother.” – Mark 3:35
We sometimes forget how inclusive Jesus was as he walked the earth. When told that his family had come to see him, he expanded the definition of family. “Whoever does God’s will.”
I grew up in a culture that restricted who was in God’s family. You had to be washed in the blood of the Lamb and be “born again.” You had to believe the fundamentals of faith. Didn’t matter if you did good things and felt compassionate or not: If you didn’t believe Jesus to be your Lord and Savior, then you’d be cast into hell (by his loving Father).
Jesus doesn’t share the neuroses lurking behind such religion.
Rather, he makes inclusion in his family something active, not mental. DO God’s will.
Be moved by compassion, like God.
Advocate for justice, like God.
Give liberally to help others, like God.
Forgive your enemies, like God.
Show humility, like God.
Be willing to sacrifice, like God.
Be a peacemaker, like God.
Who are such people you know who act like this? What is their professed religion (or lack thereof)?
I love the kinship I feel with Catholic priests, Muslim imams, and Jewish rabbi’s, as we’ve shared meetings and service projects together. I love the kinship I feel when I mingle with and serve beside people who have a lot of difficulty with religion but no difficulty at all in being kind and just to others.
Jesus always meant his family to include such whoevers. They revel in God’s grace too, although they may use different language or no language to describe it.
Our job as Christians is never to contract a circle that Jesus tells us to widen.
As we get to know more “outsiders” who do God’s will, the better we will get to know Jesus.