“Now Jesus’ mother and brothers came to see him, but they were not able to get near him because of the crowd. Someone told him, ‘Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to see you.’ He replied, ‘My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice.’” (Luke 8:19–21, NIV84)
So, in the end, who ends up connected to Jesus? Is it those who were baptized and go to church regularly? Is it those who contribute money to the Church? Is it those who say that they are in a relationship with Jesus? Is it those who say they like His teaching? The answer to those questions could be “yes” if one important criteria is met. One connected to Jesus must be a follower of God’s Word. Jesus says it’s “those who hear God’s Word and put it into practice.” Even Jesus’ earthly family must be connected to Him in the same way. They had no advantage or disadvantage. Their physical and family bond was not enough to say that they were properly connected to Him as the Savior of the world. But to a thief on the cross whom Jesus might not have ever met before, He says, “Today, you will be with me in paradise.”
Friends in Christ, in order to be related/connected to Jesus Christ, we must be adherers to God’s Word. We must not only listen to it, but we must live it. Jesus reminds us constantly that it is not enough just to hear Him. One must believe, trust and live according to His teaching. Those who don’t are like men who build their houses on the sand. They lack a solid foundation. Just think about your relationship with Jesus. It is obvious, isn’t it, that God’s Word has had a drastic impact on your life. You are not the same person you were years ago. The Word of God has worked to transform you into the image of Christ. If you’re like me, the transforming work is far from over, but it is continuing, and that is a key. Followers of Jesus Christ are in a lifelong process of God’s Word molding them into the people God has created them to be.
Today, and every day, may we be certain of our relationship with Jesus. We are members of His family.