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                        "THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW"

                     The Family Of Jesus (12:46-50)


1. A wonderful blessing is that of having a family...
   a. A source of love and acceptance
   b. A stronghold of support and encouragement

2. But we are not limited to the blessings of a physical family...
   a. Jesus hinted at the existence of an extended family - Mk 10:28-30
      1) A benefit of leaving all to follow Him
      2) Even if it meant leaving one's physical family
   b. He used another opportunity to describe that family - Mt 12:46-50
      1) As His physical family sought to speak to Him
      2) He described those who made up His "spiritual" family

3. In this study, I would like for us to...
   a. Review what we know about "The Family Of Jesus" (both physical
      and spiritual)
   b. Remind ourselves of the wonderful family we have in Jesus Christ

[Let's start by reviewing what we know about...]


      1. A woman worthy of high esteem
         a. As praised by the angel Gabriel:
            1) "highly favored one...blessed are you among women" 
                - Lk 1:28
            2) "you have found favor with God" - Lk 1:30
         b. As praised by her cousin Elizabeth:
            1) "blessed are you among women" - Lk 1:42
            2) "Blessed is she who believed" - Lk 1:45
         c. As she came to realize herself:  "...henceforth all 
            generations will call me blessed." - Lk 1:48
      2. A mother of several children
         a. As implied in Mt 1:25
            1) Joseph did not "know" (a euphemism for sexual relations)
               with her "until" the birth of Jesus
            2) Jesus was her "firstborn Son", the term firstborn 
               implying there were more
         b. As explicitly stated in Mt 12:46-47; 13:54-56
            1) He had "brothers" and "sisters", the brothers being 
            2) There is no indication in Scripture that these were 
               cousins, or children of Joseph by a previous marriage
      3. A mother who respected her Son
         a. She treasured His sayings in her heart - Lk 2:48-51
         b. She respected His authority - Jn 2:5
         c. She followed Him to the cross - Jn 19:25
         d. She continued with the disciples after His ascension 
            - Ac 1:14 (the last time she is mentioned in the Bible)
      -- She was the "only" person who really knew the identity of 
         Jesus; that she let her Son die on the cross is evidence that
         He was truly the Son of God!

      1. Mentioned in Mt 13:55-56
         a. His brothers were James, Joses, Simon and Judas
         b. He had at least two sisters
      2. His brothers (and likely His sisters) did not believe in Him
         at first
         a. They even challenged Him on one occasion - Jn 7:2-5
         b. They thought Him crazy on another occasion - cf. Mk 3:21
      3. Yet after His resurrection they came to believe
         a. He appeared to James - 1Co 15:7
         b. They continued with the disciples - Ac 1:14
         c. His brother James:
            1) Became a prominent leader of the church in Jerusalem 
               - Ga 1:19; 2:9; Ac 15:6-21; 21:18-25
            2) Is likely the author of The Epistle of James
            3) Is said to have been martyred by being thrown off the
               pinnacle of the temple
         d. His brother Judas is considered by many as the author of
            The Epistle of Jude
         e. His brothers evidently were married and traveled about
            teaching - cf. 1Co 9:5
      -- The conversion of His physical brothers who were at first 
         skeptical is additional evidence supporting the claim of Jesus
         as the Son of God

[It must have been a wonderful privilege to be part of Jesus' physical
family, especially after they came to believe in Him.  But according to
our text (Mt 12:46-50), anyone can become a part of that family which
meant the most to Jesus...]


      1. Jesus used this opportunity to identify the disciples as His
         true family - Mt 12:48-49
      2. He then described anyone who "does the will of My Father in
         heaven" as His brother, sister, and mother - Mt 12:50
      3. Why would Jesus identify His disciples as His true family?
         a. Our physical families are only temporary
            1) Begun at birth, ending at death
            2) Just as death ends the marriage bond (cf. Ro 7:2-3), so
               it ends the familial tie
            -- Emotionally we might resist this notion, but the fact
               remains the same
         b. Physical unions do not always mean spiritual ones
            1) At the time Jesus spoke, His brothers did not believe in
            2) As often happens, family members do not always have the
               same interests, the same concerns
            3) Jesus taught that physical relatives might not accept
               the truth - Mt 10:34-37
   -- Thus the true "Family Of Jesus" are those who do His Father's

      1. Jesus told Peter that His disciples would have "a hundredfold"
         brothers, sisters, and mothers in this lifetime - Mk 10:28-30
      2. This is an allusion to the church, which is now "the household
         (family) of God" - 1Ti 3:15
      3. Jesus therefore offers those willing to "do My Father's will"
         the opportunity...
         a. To be born into the family of God - cf. 1Pe 1:22-23
         b. To enjoy God as our Father, Jesus as our "Elder Brother" 
            - cf. He 2:11-12
         c. To have countless thousands as brothers, sisters, mothers,
            fathers - cf. 1Ti 5:1-2
         d. To join a "family ring" which shall never be broken!
      4. But the key is to "do the Father's will"!
         a. Not only to become a member of the family of Jesus
         b. But to enter the kingdom of heaven in its future glory 
            - Mt 7:21-23
      5. For it is serving God that ties us together in Christ...
         a. Bind us together in love
         b. Uniting us with the same purpose, goals, desires
      -- The church of Jesus Christ, then, is the true "Family Of
         Jesus" today, and forever!


1. Who is our true family today?
   a. If it is only our physical family, we are setting ourselves up
      for a great disappointment
   b. If we want a family that will last for eternity, make sure that
      our bond is a spiritual one
      1) Joined together by a mutual faith in Christ
      2) Working together as we do the will of our Father in heaven
      -- Perhaps we can have the best of both worlds, where your
         physical family is also part of your spiritual family!

2. What have you done for your true family lately?
   a. Have you gotten to know your brothers and sisters in Christ?
   b. Are you growing in your love for them?
   c. Are you encouraging them to do the Father's will?
   -- May the teaching of Jesus in our text remind you who is truly
      your family!

Are you in the family of Jesus?  No matter what kind of physical family
you may have been born into, you have the opportunity by God's grace to
be born into the wonderful family of God...!
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