I wrote this post a while back for The Recovering Legalist, and since my blogging has been a little slow lately, I decided to repost it onto my blog. This is a topic that I’ve blogged a little about in other posts, but that I wrote about in depth in this one.
What does it mean to be a family?
Ask ten different people and you’ll get ten different answers.
To some, it’s the parents and siblings that they were raised with. To others, it’s their current family unit that they’ve created for themselves, through marriage and procreation. Still to others, it’s a grandparent or relative who raised them.
Family is a concept that is embedded deep within the human heart. We all long for a place to belong and feel at home.
A place to kick off our shoes after a long day.
A place where we can be fully ourselves—quirks and all.
A place to love and be loved.
Society tells us that family is limited to those related to us through blood or marriage.
The Bible on the other hand, tells a different story. When asked about His brothers and mother in the book of Matthew, Jesus turns previously held assumptions about family upside-down.
“Jesus asked, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?” Then he pointed to his disciples and said, “Look, these are my mother and brothers. Anyone who does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother!”(Matthew 12:48-50)
Jesus broadens the definition of family to include every believer who has been washed in the blood of Christ and saved by God’s amazing grace.
You are my brother. I am your sister. We are one giant family connected through the blood of Christ. Whatever your experience with your biological family, you have the guarantee of a family in Christ. This concept is reinforced throughout the New Testament, as familial language is repetitively used (1 Timothy 5:1-2, Hebrews 13:1, Philemon 1:15-16). The Bible even goes into detail about how to live this out, instructing us time and time again to love one and other and walk with fellow believers through times of trouble.
We live in a world that is starving for love. Look no further than the local news station to find that divisions between people are running rampant. This should not be so among believers. If we want to love a broken world, we must start by loving each other. Despite our many differences, we are one in Christ. This point is presented beautifully in Galatians 3:28. “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
Imagine how amazing our witness for Christ would be if we truly lived out Jesus’ vision for believers. I have seen the concept of family practiced vividly in the Christian blogging world and pray that this becomes a reality worldwide. No one should ever feel left out in the body of Christ. The first thing that a person should know when the walk through the doors of our churches is that they are loved. When Jesus hung on the cross, His arms were spread wide open, embracing everyone willing to come and follow Him. We are called to live as a reflection of that, and live out God’s radical love here on earth as brothers and sisters in Christ.
Connected as one big, crazy, awesome, beautiful family of believers.