Family Discount – Good News for January 26

26 01 2010

Mark 3:31-35

The mother of Jesus and his brothers arrived at the house. Standing outside, they sent word to Jesus and called him. A crowd seated around him told him, “Your mother and your brothers and your sisters are outside asking for you.”

But he said to them in reply, “Who are my mother and my brothers?”

And looking around at those seated in the circle he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”

The Daily Path: You’ve probably heard of “the family discount” in which someone provides a special consideration to you because they consider you a relative. Your formal status may only be that of a close friend but for purposes of a transaction you are counted as family. In today’s Gospel, Mark tells us of how Jesus demonstrated that the criteria of family goes well beyond blood relations.

Mary, Jesus’ own mother, the woman who is the role model for obedience to God, wasn’t going to go to the front of the line just because of their human genetic link between mother and son. Instead, Jesus says “Hey, I love these people, and yes, they are my family. AND so are ALL of you who have gathered here.”

As humans we are always trying to rationalize and fit our thoughts neatly into human criteria. I’m certainly no exception. As I interpret today’s Gospel, I see that the family deal extends to someone I don’t know who lives across the globe just as much as to my own genetic links right here in the house. It doesn’t matter if they eat worms and grubs, live in a cave, wear grass loincloths, and answer to the name of Rystamunchkanesta Ali de Hashimoto. It’s not a common family crest or genetic bonds that determine our brothers, sisters, and parental units in the family of God.

So to our old friend Stan, who couldn’t be bothered helping anyone who’s surname isn’t Doubtsall: “Get ready, Stan. Your family’s come to supper. And they are lined up outside the door, down the block, over the bridge, across the county, into the next state, and over the big pond.”