Behold my Mother and my Brethren!

Matthew 12:46-50 reads: “While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him.  Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee. But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.”

What a response Jesus gave. Obviously His mother and brothers may have  been displeased. But as usual, the words of the Lord were always spoken in a way that would require one to be spiritual enough to grasp their meaning. Without the ability to hear what the Spirit says, one could make out different things of what the Lord Jesus said. Today men still do the same with His words. Years back I used to hear Prosperity Preachers take a verse like Mark 10:30 – which reads that “he [a believer] shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands” – and proclaim that a Christian should have riches and be able to own houses and properties. What an interpretation! See, recently I was in Asia and found myself in homes of people I had never met before but yet we lived, ate and fellowshipped as though we had known each other for years. I was at liberty to move around the house and eat just like I was in my own home. There were elderly women and younger ladies, working to serve food on the table. It wasn’t difficult to see that this is what the Lord meant that He will provide us with more brothers, sisters, and mothers. In the world people identify each other by belonging to a same confinement –in terms of geography or family blood ties, or by what financial deals you have with each other. But In Christ we look beyond the forms of color, language, money, or region. We identify each other by the same token of the Holy Spirit that lives and abides within our hearts. The bond that ties us is far greater than that of the natural family. Like the old hymn says:

Blest be the tie that binds

Our hearts in Christian love

The fellowship of kindred minds

Is like to that above 

Now, what is this brotherhood all about? What is the common tie that binds us, and for what purpose is it? Notice these words of the Lord in the above verse: “For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.” The Lord here tells us that those who live or abide in the will of God are His brothers and sisters. Ofcourse in the flesh we were born of natural families, but to be a part of the family of God in which Jesus is our brother, we ought to be born again by the power of the blood of Jesus Christ unto living in the will of God. John 1:12 says, But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” By being born of the will of God we ought to live by that will. This is how the Lord put it in another place: “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit” (John 3:8). Surely, when we are born again, there are many times that we cannot make out of what to do next in life’s various situations, but deep inside us is that Holy Spirit who leads us to do things which at first we could not even comprehend. With time, however, we sit back and praise God for having obeyed His voice. We are dead to our flesh and its carnal imaginations and we gladly let Him to lead us where He “listeth”. This is what Jesus came to demonstrate to humanity; He didn’t just come to restore us to the perfect will of God but to demonstrate the power of a life that is completely yielded to the will of God. To the disciples He said, “My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work” (John 4:34). When teaching them to pray the Lord said to the disciples, “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:9-10). A person who is truly born again of the Spirit of God will have his or her desire focused on seeking the will of God[1].

Walking in the perfect will of God is one important thing that man lost in the beginning. Mankind in the beginning preferred his will to God’s will and that was the beginning of trouble. Now, even though God was able to change the course of man’s decision, He wouldn’t do it because man had been created as a free moral agent. Free will was part of the attributes God endowed on a creature He had made in His image and likeness[2]. It was thus inevitable for God to let time and events take their course, regardless of how unpleasant, and let man see, partake of the ‘fruit’ of his ways, and through that come to believe and accept that only the way (or will) of God is the right one – “For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD: They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices” (Proverbs 1:29).

Following the Original Sin that was committed in Eden, all mankind has been born in iniquity, growing up in societies where the carnal will of man dominates all affairs of life. To-date Satan rules in the kingdoms (politics) of this world. However, the prophet Daniel was shown in a series of visions concerning the coming of one, likened as a stone cut without human hands but which later grew into a mountain, signifying that His kingdom won’t be a mountain formed from earthly systems of politics but will come from heaven – “in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever” (Daniel 2:44). Righteousness, humility, and joy shall characterise this coming kingdom of the Christ.[3] But how shall this be a reality when humanity today lacks love, compassion, and mercy. We live in a time where people have become so self-centred. Even the little kindness one would see portrayed among people is many times all hypocritical. This is especially the case in this great day of commerce and advertising where you will be adored and treated like a king as long someone has something to get from your pocket. This reminds me of a time when Norah and I went to a certain hotel and the workers seemed to really know their work. They all put on smiles and wanted to be as helpful as they could; from receiving luggage from the car to asking about what meal we wanted to eat. I looked into their eyes and didn’t see the same love I see among brothers and sisters in the Lord. Their smiling, much as it was important and we appreciated it, wasn’t  coming from the heart but was part of a company policy. One had to act the policy even when he really didn’t enjoy it. The idea, like in all other businesses, was to keep the money flowing in. It’s so worrying how this world seems to be getting all lost in materialism and real genuine love and affection is quickly evaporating from our societies. I remember having rented a certain house for a good six years. At no single time did I default on my rental payments. I would always pay the money and as long as that went on, my landlord was good and smiling. Then one day I announced that I would be leaving the place, and that’s when I saw a face and heard a tone of voice I had never experienced in all the six years! I realised that the person hadn’t been smiling at me the past years; she had been smiling at the money. When the time came to vacate the house, I suddenly seemed to become a stranger. I said to my wife, “This is what has become of human society; one human being sees another as a digit on their income statement, not as a fellow brother or sister.” Why is it so? Because men have become busy ‘work and eat’ machines  programmed by cares of life to rise early in the morning, go for work, perform tasks, get paid, buy food, eat, age and then finally expire! Everyone wants to work, eat, get promoted, build a house, and all such things. But is it not prudent to take a pause and ask…

For what? 

In the sermon, DESPERATIONS[4], Brother William Branham asked:  “What are we going to amount to if we gain the whole world?…What are we living for?…What do you work for? What are you eating for? What are you struggling for? To live. What are you living for?…”

The worst thing to happen to a human being is to find himself on earth and have no thought about such serious questions as “Who put this earth in place, and why did he put me on it? What was His will?” –  Until a person begins to ask himself about why he or she exists, his life could be no more than a busy blast of wind.

There is a crazy worldview that assumes that humanity is simply a haphazard occurrence in Space. If that were the case then all science and its pursuits would be meaningless. You and I know that when we find a grown up person who gets so busy loitering around a hip of rubbish by the roadside for hours and hours, we will soon or later begin to suspect that he could be out of his mind. That is simply because a hip of rubbish has nothing of value that should keep a sober person around it. Likewise, a scientist who believes that the universe and the earth in particular, is just a cosmic accident, must explain why he or she is spending countless hours in a laboratory, getting enthused at the elegancy of the fine-tuned fundamental constants of the universe. It’s either the fine-tuning is an illusion and physicists are mad folks who are loitering around rubbish, or there is really a rational order which should inspire faith in a great Almighty Spirit who caused the existence of all that there is!

One thing is certain: there is a creator, and He has a will. In His Word He has promised that a day is coming when there will be a new world in which righteousness is going to reign. In that new world everything will revolve around His perfect will. This is what we pray for when we say, “Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven(Matthew 6:10).

God desires for us to be a part of that new world. However, no element will be allowed in there which is contributing to the troubles of this present world. The troubles of this present world are emanating from the carnal and selfish wills of human beings. A human being can only be a candidate of that coming kingdom if he or she is willing to die and get born a second time – “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). 

Being “born again” is getting born to His will! 

We become born again not to start speaking in tongues or to get enthused emotionally. Although emotion can come with this supernatural experience, its main result is a transformation in a person’s life that leads him or her to start walking in the will of God. The Lord Jesus is the author of our faith and salvation. He is the firstborn among us who came to demonstrate a life of living in the will of God. Those who accept Him become part of the family. This happens when one becomes born again. And, we get born again to live and do the will of God. We learn of this will through living a life of prayer and hearing the Word.

Longing for the will of God, not cares of Life

All those who have this longing for God have the same Spirit and are therefore brothers and sisters to each other. We identify each other by this same longing for the will of God. Our life is not that of being overtaken by cares of life.

Notice that cares of life can also include being so busy with religious duties but having no personal relationship with Christ. That was the case of Martha when the Lord Jesus visited her home. She was so concerned about doing kitchen works to feed the Lord that she never cherished quietly sitting down to fellowship and hear the words of the Lord – “Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.[notice that Martha was doing a noble work of working to serve the Lord. She was performing a religious duty, so to speak] And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:38-42).

Dear saints, as we see the Day approaching, more than ever before, we ought to learn to walk in the will of God. We ought to yield our spirits to His leadership. If you are a believer and see me doing that you can say of me “behold my brother!” If I see you walking in the will of God, I will say the same. Let us give heed to Proverbs 3:5-7:“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.”

God bless you. Amen.

PDF Copy of this message:

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[1] Col.3:2, Gal.3:19-21.

[2] For details on this subject read the book WHY I BELIEVE GOD EXISTS, available for purchase on www.Amazon.com.

[3] Rom.14:17.

[4] 1st September, 1963.

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