If we thought that our modern day family values are odd and that our contemporary family dynamics are dysfunctional, take a look at what Jesus says in Matthew 12:46-50. "Whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother." Whoa Jesus, chill out. My family would hate hearing you say that.
At first glance, the meanings of this passage are pretty obvious. Your life is to follow the path of God, regardless of your origin or family background. We all know that living this life isn't easy, but I think we get that meaning when we read this passage. But, as we have just celebrated Trinity Sunday, this passage struck me in a new way.
Notice that Jesus that only mentions his brothers, sisters, and mothers. What about fathers? Aha! Jesus is reinforcing this fundamental tenet our of faith, that we are to only have one God, the Father who creates, sustains, and redeems. We are to be a family of faith, brothers and sisters joined together in the doing of God's will. Read in this light, is it any wonder that it is Jesus who, in Matthew's gospel, gives us those powerful and humbling words:
"Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven."