17. the family of God

familyIsrael was frequently referred to as “the children of God.” They were his chosen people and had this family relationship with God that no one on the planet had. Before Christ, all gentiles, of any pagan faith, had to convert to Judaism to be recognized as true children of God. Even dating back to Cain and Seth (the sons of Adam) we see this referenced:

Cain’s lineage was referred to as the sons of men.

Seth’s as sons of God.

And we follow the story of God’s children and their interactions with “outsiders” all through the Old Testament.

Enter Jesus.

He came to establish a new family, a family based on faith in God, not physical lineage. This was made clear from the beginning of his ministry. Read Matthew 12.

His physical family had come searching for him and when they found him, someone informed him that they had been looking – verses 48 and 49 capture Jesus’s response.

Jesus was God in flesh and he is the only one who could establish this change. There was authority in his teaching…not arrogant authority.

Authentic authority

Humble authority

When he established the last supper (communion as we observe today), it went against everything the Jews believed. He did not celebrate it with his blood relatives, but rather with his family of faith.  He identified the bread and wine as his body and blood, broken and spilled for all of mankind and thus, making a new covenant with all who walk this planet.

I don’t believe he disowned his own physical family; he was welcoming in and making room for the new family based on faith. And no matter what who my physical relation is here, I’ve been adopted into the family of God based on my faith.

And it’s that same family that I look forward to serving with, lifting up and spreading the gospel with each and every week. This family is always growing. It’s kind of like living in a house full of kids and we all get excited (and throw a party) when another finds his way home.

While God’s family is scattered all over the globe, I’m thankful for the local branch he’s given me: The Vine.

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The photo above may be outdated, but we’re still there…serving together, both near and far.

I love you guys. And I thank God for each and every single one of you.

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