October 20, 2019 9:30 pm
October 20, 201910:30 pm
Jesus’ Family Tree
Because Jesus was fully God and did so many miraculous things, it can be easy to forget that he was also fully human and had a family. When God mercifully sent his only Son to live among people on earth, Jesus didn’t arrive as a fully grown man unaware of how to relate to humans. Instead, the Bible provides glimpses of Jesus sharing life with a biological family.
Members of this earthly family loved and supported Jesus and his ministry. Some followed him all the way to the cross. This family sacrificed years of life with Jesus, who submitted to an early death in order to grow his extended, eternal family. Through Jesus’ resurrection, he made all of us who believe in him part of his family tree. In this lesson, students will discover God’s definition of family and their role in it.
Read Matthew 12:46-50.
This passage is part of a vivid account of Jesus’ life and ministry. During this time, Jesus is traveling
from town to town, teaching and performing miracles. As his fame expands, he and his disciples look for secluded, isolated places to rest, pray, and regroup. But the crowds keep finding them, not even giving them time to eat. Jesus is quickly moved with compassion to continue healing and teaching people.
Traveling with Jesus are those closest to him: his 12 disciples and an entourage of supporters. Not everyone following Jesus supports him, however, and not everyone who witnesses his miracles and hears his teachings believes. Pharisees and false teachers constantly question Jesus’ claim of being the Messiah and look for a way to trap and arrest him. Being God’s Son is a dangerous and risky life—one that would have given Jesus’ biological family ample reason to be concerned for the safety of their son and brother.
In verse 46, Jesus’ mother and brothers come asking to speak to Jesus. The way Jesus responds is so important that it’s repeated in both Luke and Mark. Why did Jesus’ family come to him? Maybe they followed Jesus to support his ministry and to help new believers in the faith. Maybe they simply missed their famous, often-absent relative. But here Jesus seems to take the arrival of his family with urgency. Did his family sense he was in danger? Were they making an effort to inform and protect him? Surrounded by a crowd of people, Jesus does what he does best: He shifts the experience into a teaching moment full of kingdom purpose.
Jesus takes the interruptive invitation to speak to his mother and brothers and flips it. Instead of rebuking his biological family and telling them to go away, he invites everyone within the sound of his voice to be obedient followers of God, thus becoming as close to him as blood relatives. In this moment, Jesus offers relationships with eternal value. He introduces these followers to the concept of community, a second family, an eternal family, and God’s family.
Jesus extends this invitation to be part of his family tree to us today. We not only have biological families but spiritual families who point to God as the center and source of life.