Wednesday, April 11, 2018

King Jesus, King Arthur and Family Wannabes

In the BBC series Merlin, Arthur assumed the kingship upon the murder of his father. In the months following, Arthur's uncle offered him advice as he figured out how to manage the kingdom he had inherited.  Very soon, however, it became obvious that Arthur's uncle was not really helping him and it was not much of a spoiler to discover that the uncle was working with the evil Morgana in order to get Arthur killed.  I can only imagine the sense of betrayal that would flow from discovering a trusted relative is trying to undermine and kill you. The story is a reminder that family is about more than biological relations.

Jesus made a similar point in Mark chapter 3, though his relatives were not evil in this case. Jesus had been teaching and his mother and brothers showed up to see him but couldn't reach him because of the crowd. When Jesus was told he responded, "Who are My mother and My brothers?”... Then looking about at those who were sitting in a circle around Him, He said, “Here are My mother and My brothers! Whoever does the will of God is My brother and sister and mother(Mark 3:34-35, HCSB).

Now, Jesus wasn't bashing his family. We know that he still cared for his mother because, while he was dying, he made the disciple John promise to take care of her. But Jesus was trying to make a point about family. Jesus was trying to let us know what it would take for us to call him brother and to have the same kind of relationship with others. For Jesus, family was just as much about sharing the same goals and working for the same things as it was about blood. Jesus promised us that whoever does the will of God is his brother and sister and mother.

One of the best ways to get to know someone is to get down in the trenches and work with them. Jesus is also telling us this.  If we really want to know him, we must jump into the work with him. We must get our hands dirty together caring for the lost, the poor and the hurting. We must take our lead from the Spirit and follow without hesitation. Only then can we really call Jesus our brother with any certainty.

There is a difference between being a brother or sister and acting like one.  Are we willing to put in the effort and act like Jesus is your family?

Preparing the Disciples for the Crane Kick

In the original Karate Kid with Ralph Macchio, once his training began with Mr Miyagi, Daniel couldn't wait to learn to kick or punch....