Sermon #13††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††† Series: Mark
††††††††† Title: ††††††††† The Masterís Family
††††††††† Text:†††††††††† Mark 3:31-35
††††††††† Readings:† Office: Merle Hart† Auditorium: Mark Henson
††††††††† Subject:†††† The True Family of Christ
††††††††† Date:††††††††† Sunday Evening - February 23, 1997
††††††††† Tape #†††††† T-45
††††††††† In the message this morning (vv. 22-30), we saw our all glorious Savior accused by pompous, self-righteous religionists of being in league with the devil. They said, ďHe hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of devils casteth he out devils.Ē But the absurd charges and scandalous accusations of the Scribes were not the only trials our Lord had to endure at this time.
††††††††† In these last verses of the chapter, we are told that ďHis brethren and his mother came, and standing without, sent unto him, calling him.Ē Our Masterís earthly family did not understand the beauty of his life, the necessity of his obedience, and the purpose for which he had come into the world.
I do not doubt that they loved him as a brother. I have know doubt that they were, at least somewhat, concerned for his physical welfare. They were concerned about him over-exerting himself, not getting enough rest, exposing himself to too much danger. They did not know what they were doing. I am sure they did not, at least some of them did not, understand the implications of their actions here. They understood very little, or gave little regard to those words spoken by the Lord Jesus when he was just a boy twelve years old: ďWist ye not that I must be about my Fatherís business?Ē (Lk. 2:49).
††††††††† The title of my message tonight is The Masterís Family. My text is found in Mark 3:31-35.
Mark 3:31-35† "There came then his brethren and his mother, and, standing without, sent unto him, calling him. (32) And the multitude sat about him, and they said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee. (33) And he answered them, saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren? (34) And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! (35) For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother."
Proposition:††††† In these five verses, the Son of God identifies himself with his disciples and owns his disciples as his true family.
Divisions:††††††††† I trust that God the Holy Spirit will be our Teacher tonight, as I endeavor to set before you five spiritual lessons that are set before us in these verses of Inspiration.
1. Mary, the mother of our Lordís humanity, was a sinner saved by grace.
2. Regarding spiritual matters, particularly matters of obedience to the will of God, family and friends are never safe guides.
3. The one thing required in all true servants of God is faithfulness.
4. All who are truly the disciples of Christ, and only they, are the members of his family.
5. All who abuse, harass, and persecute the children of God have reason to tremble.
I. First, I want you to see that Mary, The Mother Of Our Lordís Humanity, Was A Sinner Saved By Grace.
††††††††† I have no doubt at all that the words of our text, and the many other passages in the gospel narratives, which identify Maryís sinfulness and weaknesses of the flesh were intended by God to be prophetic protectives against the idolatrous worship of Mary, which is so much† part of popish idolatry. We recognize, and the Scriptures clearly teach, the immaculate conception of our Lord Jesus in the womb of the virgin. But the papists would have us believe that Mary herself was immaculately conceived and that she had no sin. Nothing could be further from the truth.
††††††††† No doubt, Mary was a woman of honorable character. But she was no more spiritual and holy by nature than Rahab, or you, or me. Mary was the sinful daughter of sinful parents. She was made holy and honorable by the free grace of God in Christ, whom she herself worshipped as her Savior and Lord.
Luke 1:46-48† "And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, (47) And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. (48) For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed."
††††††††† Mary is here said to be one who shall be called ďblessed.Ē And blessed she is. But we must never look upon her as being blessed in any way or to any degree, except as she was and is blessed of God in Christ in exactly the same way as all chosen sinners are blessed, eternally and immutably blessed of God in Christ and for Christís sake (Eph. 1:3).
††††††††† I cannot imagine any religious practice more completely destitute of a biblical foundation than the exaltation and adulation of Mary. The blasphemous practice of offering prayers to Mary are as foolish and idolatrous as offering prayers to me!
A. †The only sinless human being ever to live in this world is the sinless Son of God, our Savior.
B. The only Mediator between God and men, by whom and through whom sinners may come to God, is the God-man, our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
C. The only human being to whom prayer is to be made and through whom we may hope for grace, is that Man who is God, the Lord Jesus Christ.
II. Second, we see in this passage an example of the fact that Regarding Spiritual Matters, Particularly Matters Of Obedience To The Will Of God, Family And Friends Are Never Safe Guides.
††††††††† In our text, the Saviorís family appear to have been concerned for his health and well-being. Perhaps they feared that he was needlessly exposing himself to danger. They must have been aware of the plots of the Scribes, Pharisees, and Herodians to kill him. So they sent a messenger to fetch the Lord Jesus home.
I am aware that many of the commentators read into these words suggestions of impertinence and disrespect. But I see no need for that, especially on Maryís part. She was, at times, a weak believer. But there is no doubt that she was a genuine believer.
††††††††† Though Mary, and probably our Masterís other family members as well, had only the best of intentions and desired only that which they thought was best for him, they were in no position to make that judgment. This incident is not recorded here by accident. It is written for our learning. Be sure you do not miss the lesson here given by the Spirit of God. In spiritual matters, we must not confer with flesh and blood (Gal. 1:16).
A. †If you would know the state of your soul, do not be satisfied with the good opinions of others.
B. If you would know and do the will of God, you must not take into account the desires of your own flesh, the desires of your family, or the counsel of human wisdom.
††††††††† No one knows the will of God for you, in any given area of your life, but you. It is your responsibility to do what you know the Lord would have you to do.
∑ Abraham would never have taken Isaac up to Mt. Moriah if he had consulted with Sarah.
∑ Had Moses listened to Zipporah, the Lord would have killed him before he ever got back to Egypt.
∑ Nathan would never have taken Godís word to David, if he had considered what the consequences might have been.
III. Third, our Lord Jesus exemplifies the fact that The One Thing Required In All True Servants Of God Is Faithfulness.
††††††††† In the face of constant opposition from his enemies and the misguided concerns of those people who were by nature dearest to him, our Saviorís resolve was firm and unrelenting. He had set his face like a flint. He had a baptism to be baptized with and was straitened until it was accomplished.
∑ He was determined to fulfil his Fatherís will.
∑ He was determined to finish his work of establishing perfect righteousness for his people.
∑ He was determined to drink the cup of wrath as our Substitute upon the cursed tree, to satisfy the justice of God for us.
††††††††† May God give us grace as his people and his servants to be like minded. Let nothing turn you from the narrow way. Have you put your hand to the plow? Let nothing persuade you to look back. Have you entered the race? Look not to the right hand nor to the left. Look only to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Author and Finisher of our faith. If well meaning friends would dissuade you, reply like Nehemiah of old: ďI am doing a great work, and I cannot come downĒ (Neh. 6:3). If those who truly love you and truly love Christ would unknowingly turn you aside from doing that which you know to be the will of God, respond as Paul did to his friends.
Acts 20:24† "But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God."
Acts 21:13-14† "Then Paul answered, What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus. (14) And when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, The will of the Lord be done."
††††††††† Keep the eyes of your heart, the eyes of your soul focused upon the Lord Jesus Christ, and the great host of men and women who have gone before us into heaven, who were found faithful even unto death.
Hebrews 12:1-4† "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, (2) Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. (3) For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. (4) Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin."
††††††††† The Lord our God requires only one thing of us. And the one thing he requires of us, it seems to me, is the very least that we can give. Yet, it is the best we can give. God requires faithfulness. May he give us grace to give it!
1 Corinthians 4:2† "Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful."
IV. Fourth, the Lord Jesus tells us that All Who Are Truly The Disciples Of Christ, And Only They, Are The Members Of His Family.
Mark 3:33-35† "And he answered them, saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren? (34) And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! (35) For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother."
††††††††† Who can imagine the depth of love our Savior had for his family as a man? Who can imagine how he loved that woman who nursed and nurtured him as a baby? Who can imagine how he must have loved his brothers and sisters, those who were born from the same womb as he was? No mortal has ever come close to knowing the affection of Christís heart as a man for his aunts, uncles, and cousins. Yet, in comparison to his chosen, in comparison to you and I who believe on his name, our Lord Jesus gave no regard to the desires of his own family and dearest kinsmen.
††††††††† There is great comfort to be found in the things recorded here for every true believer. There is One in heaven, who is both God and man, One who is both bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh who knows us, loves us, cares for us, and counts us to be his own family. We may be poorer than dirt; but we have no cause to be ashamed. We are the brothers and sisters of the Son of God! We may be persecuted and mistreated, even in our own families, because of our faith in Christ. If that is the case with you, take Davidís words for your own. ďwhen my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will take me upĒ (Ps. 27:10). To be numbered among those who are in this family is to beÖ
∑ The Object of Godís Constant Care.
∑ The Beneficiary of Godís Special Providence.
∑ An Heir of God and Joint-Heir with Christ.
1 John 3:1-3† "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. (2) Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. (3) And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure."
V. †Fifth, this passage contains a solemn warning for the persecutors of Godís saints: All Who Abuse, Harass,† And Persecute The Children Of God Have Reason To Tremble.
††††††††† If you are inclined to slander, abuse, malign, or persecute one of Godís children, or one of Godís servants, you would be wise to remember, they are the sons and daughters of God Almighty. Those who are the objects of your scorn are the true blood-kin of the Son of God! This is the family of him who is King of kings and Lord of lords. We have a mighty, mighty Friend, who has sworn that he will avenge his own elect in all things.
Proverbs 23:11† "For their redeemer is mighty; he shall plead their cause with thee."
1. The Lord Jesus Christ in heaven always pleads our cause.
2. Let us ever be found faithful in his cause.