Here are the headings for the five concluding points from last Sunday's message on "Jesus and the Family" (Mark 3:31-35):
1. Jesus taught a radical form of discipleship that places loyalty to him above loyalty to everything else, including our families (see Matthew 10:32-39; Luke 14:25-27; Mark 10:29-30).
2. The family is a God-given institution that is highly valued by God as an instrument for establishing and building his kingdom, but it is not ultimate. Only Jesus is ultimate.
Simply put the family is only the means to an end. It is not the end in and of itself. The end is knowing and serving Christ. The family might be an instrument to get us there. But if we have a lovely family life, yet still do not know a passion for Christ then we have still failed miserably.
3. Our union with the human family is only temporary. Our union with Jesus is permanent (see Matthew 22:30).
4. Although our relationship with Jesus is ultimate, but this does not mean that our relationship with our family is unimportant or that we might not share with those who are our natural relations also a rich spiritual relationship centered upon a common commitment to Christ.
Some run the risk of neglecting or sabotaging their relationships with their families in some high-minded but wrong-headed attempt to put Christ first.
It does not have to be either my family or Christ, but a real blessing occurs when it is my family alongside me in loving and serving Christ. It can be my family and Christ.
5. Even in a Christian household the call to obey Christ must take precedence.
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