“My Mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it” (Luke 8:21)
Some years ago a man who loved his son very much and, wanting the best for him, did all he could to encourage him in the right direction. No doubt this could be the description of many fathers. The father had been asked to read a passage from the Bible in the Sunday morning worship service but when he arrived at the church he told the Pastor that he had given this role to his late-teenage son. This was no easy position for the Pastor because he did not believe the son was a Christian. He knew that the behaviour and language of the son in the small country community did not give evidence of a relationship with Jesus Christ.
When the Pastor said that the son would not be permitted to read the Bible publicly the father was deeply upset and angry. The thought that his son was not saved was more than he wanted to bear.
The next day the Pastor went to visit the son and talk with him about what had happened. In that discussion the son freely admitted that he was not a Christian and was not upset about what had happened. On that day he was receptive to the Gospel and perhaps for the first time understood that he must personally come to Jesus Christ. In the years to come, after the son had left home, word came back that the son was reading the Bible and praying with a workmate.
When the mother and brothers of Jesus came to see Him He showed them no special favours. Mary and Jesus’ siblings must come to faith in Him the same way as everyone else. Had He shown them special favour they may have thought they had special entrance into the kingdom of God because of their blood relationship to Jesus. This apparent rebuff was to make sure they and us understood that this could not happen.
It seems inconceivable that Mary was not “saved” because she had demonstrated faith and surrender years before by allowing God to use her body for the entrance of the Son of God into the world. Even being the mother of Jesus is less blessed than one who “hear(s) the word of God and keep(s) it!” (Luke 11:28).
By refusing to face the reality that our loved one is not saved we may be condemning them to eternity without Christ.
This writer is thankful beyond measure that someone was prepared to risk his friendship to inform him that he was not a Christian even though he thought he was. Many Christians had failed to discern his lost state or were unprepared to say anything about it.
Being a physical descendant of Abraham, the child of a Christian or even the half-brother of Jesus cannot save. We must come individually and so must our loved ones. A father or mother loves their child more than any other so not to tell them the truth regarding entrance to the kingdom of God is out of the question.