So many exciting announcements today. Announcements first and then today’s post and episode are below the announcements.
First, Now you can read Gospel Life Learning on the blog or you can listen to each episode “on the go” through the fully launched “Blog Scripts” Podcast or at the Youtube channel. If you are enjoying what you are learning from this blog and/or the audios, then Subscribe to
the Gospel Life Learning email list and you will be notified when a new episode has been uploaded. Each episode is planned to be just 10 minutes or less; each one will be sequential, and each will be focused on a teaching of Jesus with additional background into the history, culture, and/or the underlying Greek language. Be notified when a new post or episode in the series is ready by clicking here and entering your email.
Second, The GLL “Blog Scripts” podcast is launched with this week’s teaching on “What Dud Jesus Say About His Family?” And the three previous episodes. At this time the podcast is available at Apple podcasts, Spotify, and PodBean, and will soon be available on Google Podcasts. Just search for Gospel Life Learning in any of those popular apps, or go directly to these links online:
Podcast Website on PodBean: https://gospellifelearning.
Third, Gospel Life Learning is getting a complete re-vamp and a new website all based around our purpose statement: To provide resources to help others draw close to God and share His nearness with others.
The complete website revamp is still a few weeks away before being completed, but here is a “sneak peak:”
And Finally, the newest blog post along with its audio Blog Script is now posted, titled,
“What Did Jesus Say About His Family?”
You may listen to the 9-10 minute listen right here on the website by clicking on the Pod Player or the Youtube video below. And of course, if you prefer to read the message, just keep scrolling past the youtube video to find your traditionally written blog post.
New Blog Post: What Did Jesus Say About His Family?
What did Jesus say about His family members?
And also – another important question - What is your host’s favorite teaching of Jesus? As you may have noticed, I try to start these audios off with a Focus Question, and so today, my focus question is a lot on Jesus and a bit on myself. What is my favorite teaching of Jesus? Well, And when I say my “favorite scene” I mean that it is one of my favorite of Jesus’s teachings because it speaks directly to us about how Jesus views his followers and what Jesus says gives me so much comfort and rest and even joy.
OK, so I want to set this up – because it is truly so special to me, and I hope it becomes special for you too. It's a really short scene. Not too much information is given or is happening in this scene, there is a little background, but not to much. The focus in this is on what Jesus said. And I often wonder, “Why did they even put this scene in?” I think maybe because it made the people who were following Jesus feel so important and so comforted – just as it can for us today.
Anyway, I am so happy that Mark felt that what happened here was significant enough to write down and to pass it down so that it can be shared with us today… two .thousand years later.
There is just a little background. In our teaching last week, we looked at one of Jesus’ first miracles when he healed the leper. He also performed more miraculous healings, and so word got out all over the area about him. So Jesus would get swamped by people when he walked through the towns. Some of the people were coming to him for healings or just to see him and hear him. Others were coming to accuse him of being a mad in the head or even of being possessed. And Jesus could be invited into homes in order to get a break from the crowds. This scene takes place - Jesus has just gone inside a home with his disciples and others, and he was continuing to teach in there. But there were crowds still outside all around the home, many of them wanting to get in. Then we are told that Jesus’ mother and his brothers came, and they were outside the home. In Matthew it tells us a little more specifically that his mother and brothers could not get inside because of the size of the crowd outside.
So here is the passage, or the scene as I sometimes call it. It is from Mark 3: 31 to 35.
“And his mother and his brothers came, and standing outside, they sent to him and called him.--”
“And a crowd was sitting around him (around Jesus). And they said to him, 'Your mother and your brothers are outside, seeking you.' And he answered them, 'Who are my mother and brothers?' And looking about at those who sat around him, he said, 'Here are my mother and brothers! For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother, and sister, and mother.'” (Mark 3:31-35)
Jesus said, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” Who? And looking at those who sat around him –
His disciples were there. But Mark tells us that there were also others there around Jesus too. He said, “Here are my mother and sisters and brothers!” And he was pointing to the people that were listening to him, who were staying close to him, who were learning from him, and following him. And then he says, “Whoever does the will of God; he is my brother and sister and mother.”
I also want to add that I chose to read the verse in Mark, because it clearly documented in the Greek that the prompt from the people was “Your mother and brothers are here;” however the final response from Jesus included brother and sister, and mother. In Mark, both words are there in the greek Jesus said whoever does the will of God is my adelphosand adelphi and mother.
So Jesus just said himself – “these people are doing the will of God. They are here. They are my brothers and sisters and mother. My family.”
And I love this, because it is Jesus himself explaining who he considers to be his family. And what are these people doing? This is still very early on in Jesus’ ministry. These people aren't going out and proclaiming him yet. They're not working to build new churches yet. All they are doing at this point is learning and following. They are merely learning and following and Jesus says….Look…they are my brothers and sisters and mother – they are in the will of God.
Learning…..Gospel Life Learning – that is the whole motivation and purpose of why I began writing over 10 years ago, blogging shortly after, and now creating these “Blog Script” audios. Recently I refined defined in words, the purpose of Gospel Life Learning ministry, and it is to provide resources to help readers and listeners draw near to God and to have resources to share His nearness with others.
Learning and following…
That is the will of God….
Learning and following…
Learning what he has to say, and then
allowing that learning….and that relationship to change you
allowing it to prompt you in the ways you go about each of your days.
So we will close with just one reflection today.....
How would you describe your relationship with Jesus today?
Are you his sister, or his brother?
Or is he just someone that you know about or heard about…or learned about sometime ago?
Or is he just someone you learned about and followed – maybe when you were much younger or in a prior phase of life, but you let a whole lot of distance creep in.
I just want to remind you....he's still near. He's still near. He doesn't leave us; we get busy and wander off. He doesn't forget about us; we forget about him. And all it takes, all it takes if there is distance growing in your relationship with the Lord. All it takes is, turning back....listening to and learning from him again, knowing what he wants us to know, and allowing that to change us.
With His Grace,
If you want to learn more deeply and fully about what Jesus taught, then you would enjoy He Called: 56 Daily Studies and Reflections with the Words of Christ.
The author also posts on Facebook and interacts with her readers at http://www.facebook.com/GospelLifeBooks
Author's other books can be found at: https://www.amazon.com/Sherry-Elaine-Evans