Bible Reading: Mark 3:22-35
Jesus had brothers and sisters (Mark 6:3). Bet you never thought about that…did you? According to the Bible…God was the Father of Jesus and Mary was the mother. A supernatural act. But, after He was born, Joseph and Mary had children, together. A normal, physical act. As we study the Scripture, we find that initially, they had a difficult time understanding exactly “Who” Jesus was. In fact, it wasn’t until He was well into His ministry that they finally came to the right conclusion. In this passage, they are still riding the fence. They know that He is something, or someone, special…but they just are not sure, yet. Not even Mary (despite her awareness of all that the angels had told her). So, when the crowds and the stress of ministry began to grow…they were afraid that He would not be able to handle it on His own…so they came to His rescue. Jesus used this opportunity to teach that His family was actually much larger than just those that He was related to physically. His also had a spiritual family. That family includes all of those who do “the will of God.” That is a wonderful thought…that we can know and do God’s will.
Thoughts about God for My Grandkids:
Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s as plain as the nose on your face”? That means that something is very, very easy to understand. You can see it as easily as you can see your own nose…it’s just that close, just that clear. But some things are not that easy to know, or to understand. Some things are not as near…as your nose.
For instance…stars. A star named Proxima Centauri is the closest star to the Earth (not including our own Sun). It is 4.23 light years away. The term “light year” means how far light travels in one year. It’s a pretty long way. Light travels at a constant speed of 186,000 mile per second. That’s faster than your Mom drives. Let’s do the math: 186,000 miles per second…x 60 seconds in a minute = 11,160,000 miles per minute…x 60 minutes in an hour = 669,600,000 miles per hour…wow, that’s fast! A traveler, moving at the speed of light, would go around the earth at the equator approximately 7.5 times in one second…one second! By comparison, if you were in a jet airplane flying at a ground speed of 500 mph, you would cross the continental U.S. once in 4 hours. At that speed, it would take 50 hours to go all the way around the Earth.
We live in a group of stars called a galaxy. The name of our galaxy is the Milky Way (yeah, I thought it was candy bar, too). There are approximately 100 billion stars in the Milky Way. Scientists estimate that there are 2 trillion galaxies with an average of 100 million stars in each galaxy…in the known, observable universe. Again, do the math: 2 trillion x 100 million = 200,000,000,000,000,000,000…give, or take, a few million. And did you notice the words “known, observable universe”? That’s what we can see (through telescopes). Scientists know that there is much, much more out there…that we cannot see. That means even more stars. The most distant known star from the Earth is in the galaxy MACS0647-JD. It is 13.3 billion light years away…that’s right “billion”…don’t even try to imagine how far that is. Stars are so far away, that we cannot know much about them. We know some things about some of the closer ones…but not much. It’s just not as plain as the nose on your face. They’re too far away for us to be able to see them clearly and know much about them.
Some people say that God is like that. We know that He is there…but, He is so far away that we cannot know much about Him. But, Jesus had a totally different opinion. He said that instead of being like a distant star…God is like a “father”. There, we already know something about God…because we already know something about what it means to be a “father”. Generally, fathers are near to their children. Their children know what their father is like and they know what their father wants them to do. And Jesus says that God is like that. He isn’t far away, at all. In fact, He’s as close as a father. And since He is our Father, we can know what He wants us to do. Because just like a father…He tells us. Jesus said that when we do what God wants us to do…that is His “will”…then we are His brothers and sisters. And get this…if we are the brothers and sisters of Jesus…and God is His Father…then, God is our Father, as well. Welcome to the family!
We know how to find out what our father wants us to do. He tells us. But how do we know what God the Father wants us to do? Same thing…He tells us. He tells us through the Bible. As we read the Bible…we find out what God wants us to do. And, there is a second way…prayer. When we pray…we tell God what is on our heart, what is happening in our life, and what we think about it. Then we stop talking…and we listen. We listen for God to speak to our heart. Not in a voice that we hear with our ears…but in a voice that we hear in our heart. It’s kind of like putting all of the information that we have on a table…and then, letting God arrange the information the way that He wants. When I pray and then listen…
- sometimes I begin to understand something that I didn’t understand, before…that is God speaking;
- sometimes, I have an idea, or an answer, that I didn’t have before…that is God speaking;
- sometimes, I have peace that I didn’t have before…that is God speaking.
Jesus said that we can know and do God’s will. That is a great source of comfort and encouragement to me. Know why? Because…
- He is the God Who made all of those stars;
- He is the God Who keeps the universe running;
- He is the God Who is faster than light.
And get this…that God…is my Father. And if He can do all of that…then He can do whatever is needed in my life. And, He will tell me what He wants me to do, as well.
God is as plain as the nose on your face. Give Him a close look, today. Read your Bible and spend some time with Him in prayer. He’s waiting…on you.
Love you more than bunches and bunches,