Thursday, February 18, 2010

Thicker Than Blood

February 14, 2010

1. What movie resonates with you when you consider the word “family?”
2. What three or four words describe your family of origin?
3. Read Mark 3:20, 31-34. From this section of Scripture what is your initial reaction to Jesus’ words in reference to His family?

4. It is said that the best commentary on the Bible is the Bible. This means as we come upon a passage that seems a little puzzling to us or we need more explanation, searching the rest of the Scriptures for illumination is the best way to find clarification. It is obvious from the other parts of Scripture that Jesus greatly valued His physical family. Jesus, on the cross in excruciating pain, instructed John to take care of His mother, Mary. Considering your knowledge of the whole of Scripture, what do you think is the main point Jesus is trying to get across?

5. The New American Commentary on Mark tells us, “Of course Jesus did not teach that physical relationships have no value, only that they must be subordinate to spiritual relationships. Even so, His teaching was radical. It seemed to threaten the most important human institution.” What is it about a spiritual relationship that makes it more significant than even a family relationship?

Digging a little deeper...
6. Author James Brooks says, “Those seated in a circle around Him” obviously are Jesus’ disciples. Despite all their failures, Jesus acknowledged them as those who did God’s will and therefore His true family . . . . Christians have been encouraged that relationship with God is not a matter of genetics but of obedience to God’s will.”
Reflection question: if obedience to Jesus is His measure of ‘family,’ how closely related to Him are you?

7. Author Robert Ellsberg writes, “The ‘family’ that Jesus gathers around Him is hardly what we would call an ‘exclusive club’ ; instead it includes every type of ‘wrong’ person, every type of person who feels marginalized and excluded by the prevailing standards of social value. It is these people, in particular, who experience the call to join Jesus’ family as a genuine blessing.”
Explain in as many ways as possible how ‘radical’ Jesus’ teaching is as relating to calling people who were at one time indifferent rebellious or even enemies, now, because of Christ’s grace and forgiveness, ‘dear family.’

8. Matthew Henry writes in Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible, “It is a great comfort to all true Christians, that they are dearer to Christ than mother, brother, or sister, merely as relations in the flesh.” How do you respond to being dearer to Christ than people who shared their history, experiences, nurture and day-to-day living? How would you put into words the thought that you – personally – right here and right now are very dear to Christ?

9. As you pray for your own needs and concerns this week, please consider thoughtfully and prayerfully how dear you are to Christ.

Brooks, James A., The New American Commentary on Mark, 74Henry, Matthew, Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible

What will I do this week to grow in wisdom?1. PRAY - ask God for wisdom.2. READ a section of Scripture each day.3. APPLY what I have read to my life.