"Meanderings in Mark"
Series on Mark, Lesson 14

The True Family Of God

Read: Mark 3:21, 31-35

Text: Mark 3:35 (KJV) For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.

Theme: Our spiritual relationship with Jesus is more important than the physical family bond.


QUESTION - Do you agree? Why or why not? If not disrespect, what attitude was He demonstrating?

QUESTION - Notice the following verses. What attitude did Jesus demonstrate in each?

John 2:4 (KJV) Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come.

John 19:26-27 (KJV) When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.

Luke 11:27-28 (KJV) And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked. (KJV) But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.

(NOTE - Since we are studying family, today, and since this class is a senior citizen's class, we are going to particularly examine the role grandparents play in the family, today.)

I. Jesus had a family relationship which He respected.

A. He obeyed His parents.

QUESTION - What examples of this can you think of from scripture?

Luke 2:51 (KJV) And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.

1. QUESTION - Is this the norm today? Why or why not?

2. But it is Biblical.

1 Sam 15:22-23 (KJV) And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.

Eph 6:1 (KJV) Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.

2 Tim 3:1-4 (KJV) This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

3. Parents need to demand obedience from their children.

QUESTION - What can Christian parents do to help their children demonstrate this Christ-like characteristic in their life?

QUESTION - Are their societal pressures today that make this difficult for Christian parents to accomplish?

QUESTION - What can grandparents do to help their children help their children?

B. He respected them in adulthood.

(READ John 2:1-5)

QUESTION - How does this passage demonstrate Jesus' respect for parents?

1. Some believe adulthood means no longer having to respect your parents.

QUESTION - How would you respond to this attitude?

2. It DOES mean no longer being bound to them.

Gen 2:24 (KJV) Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

3. It DOES NOT mean you should respect them any less.

QUESTION - What role do grandparents play in teaching children to respect others?

C. He loved them.

(READ John 19:26-27)

QUESTION - How does this passage demonstrate Jesus' love for Mary?

QUESTION - What do we learn about the extent of love we should have toward our family?

D. The Bible teaches the importance of family.

Deu 5:16 (KJV) Honour thy father and thy mother, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

1 Tim 5:8 (KJV) But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

READ Ephesians 5:22-6:4

II. Sometimes family will lead you astray, though.

Mark 3:21, 31 (KJV) And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself. There came then his brethren and his mother, and, standing without, sent unto him, calling him.

QUESTION - How did Jesus respond to His mother's (and His brothers') call?

QUESTION - Why do you think He did not go to them? He almost seems to be demonstrating the opposite of the obedience, respect, and love that we earlier saw were characteristics of His family life. Why?

A. They were trying to STOP Him.

1. Sadly, even the best believers sometimes doubt.

Mat 11:2-3 (KJV) Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?

1 Ki 19:4 (KJV) But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.

Mat 26:41 (KJV) Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

2. Sadly, even the best believers sometimes fall.

ILLUS - David

ILLUS - Peter ("I go a fishing…")

QUESTION - What do we learn from Jesus Christ about how we should respond to other believers at such times?

3. At such times, we have to stand against "the best believers!"

QUESTION - Could Jesus do what Mary and His brothers wanted Him to do? Why or why not?

4. Jesus could not do what His family wanted Him to do.

B. Family responsibility parallels civic responsibility.

1. Be a good family member…

(Just like Romans 13 says to be a good citizen!)

2. …unless it means being a bad Christian.

(Just as Acts 4 teaches about civic responsibility.)

QUESTION - Do you agree or disagree? Why or why not?

QUESTION - What role do grandparents play in this?

III. Spiritual family is more important than physical family.

QUESTION - Do you agree or disagree? Why or why not?

Mark 3:34-35 (KJV) And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.

A. Jesus taught that SPIRIT is more important than FLESH.

John 3:5 (KJV) Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

John 3:7 (KJV) Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

(Yet most people value the PHYSICAL more than the SPIRITUAL.)

QUESTION - What activities usually are successful in drawing crowds to most churches?

QUESTION - What are some of the activities that most churches have difficulty drawing a decent crowd to?

QUESTION - What role can grandparents play in this? How do we instill a love of the spiritual that exceeds our natural love of the physical?

B. Jesus taught that our love for Him must exceed our love for our families.

Luke 14:26 (KJV) If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

Luke 9:59-62 (KJV) And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God. And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.

Luke 12:51-53 (KJV) Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division: For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

Mat 10:35-37 (KJV) For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

QUESTION - WOW. These are some radical concepts. How do we put them into practice in our lives?

QUESTION - Do grandparents play a role in this? What is it? How can we help our children and their children to love spiritual family more than physical family? As "physical family," are we hurting ourselves by encouraging our families to put Jesus first?

QUESTION - Is there a single sentence that would sum up Jesus' teachings here on family?

QUESTION - Is there a single word that would sum up Jesus' teachings here on family?


Jesus taught the importance of BALANCE in all of our relationships.

(FAMILY is so important… surely Jesus taught that. Yet, GOD is so much MORE important!)

The whole point is PRIORITIES. Put God first.

"Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God, the things that are God's…"

We could also say,

"Render unto FAMILY…"

"Render unto FRIENDS…"

"Render unto EMPLOYERS…"

"Render unto _____________…"

Jesus, by using an example that would have shocked the family oriented Jews, made a powerful point about the extent to which we should go in PUTTING GOD FIRST in our lives.

May God help us to be "people of family!" May we love our children, our mates, our parents, our siblings, and our fellow man. May we model the values that Jesus demonstrated toward His own family - obedience, respect, and love.

HOWEVER, may God help us to value the spiritual more than anything else. May God help us to learn how to demonstrate BALANCE and PRIORITIES in all our relationships such that there will never be a question about what is the number one relationship in our lives - JESUS CHRIST.


Mark 3:35 (KJV) For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.


(NOTE - For next week, read the remainder of Mark 4:1-20 in preparation for our lesson, "The Parable of the Human Heart.)

Please direct questions, comments, and submissions to William E. Johnson
Copyright © 1997 William E. Johnson.