In a lecture on Mark’s Gospel today we were reflecting on Jesus’ words in 3:33-35:

33. “Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked.
34. Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 35. Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.” (NIV)

Bible and Mission Intern, Mark, made a shrewd observation by prodding us to think about what this might mean in a context where someone professes faith in Christ and is shunned by their family and community as a result.

Just what is our responsibility towards those whom we are seeking to reach? Surely at the very least it should mean that the church offers a family and community to which the new believer can be embraced. The image of church as family is a powerful metaphor; perhaps like no other it conveys the intense and necessary community that can make all the difference.

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