Transforming Ordinary People into Extraordinary Followers of Christ

Because of the Cross Part 2

Sermon Summary
Today, on Mother’s Day, we’ll explore some surprising insights about Mary’s relationship with Jesus, insights which have the power to transform all our relationships. Jesus spoke several times during the six hours he
spent on the cross. Now, speaking while being crucified was extremely painful. So, as you can imagine, he kept his talking to a minimum. One thing he said was: “Mom—John will take care of you.” and “John—look
after my mom.” He overturned age-old traditions, and in so doing, forevermore and profoundly modified the family. Mary’s husband, Joseph, was deceased by this time. So, Jesus was the man of the house—but now
he’s dying on a Roman cross. Who would take care of the family after he was gone? James, as the next oldest son, should have been the head of the family after Jesus was gone, but at the cross, Jesus modified
family structures.

You see, at that point Jesus’ brothers were non-believing scoffers. So he overturned the traditions of his culture and told his disciple John to take care of his mom. Those who share your faith in God actually are closer to you than unbelievers who share your flesh and blood. The Bible teaches that believers are family—spiritual family. Unlike blood relationships, spiritual ones are eternal. In this one act on the cross Jesus gave us a new basis for relating to one another.

After Jesus died and rose again, his followers became family. He called them “brothers”. Prior to that, he called them “servants” or even “friends”. But now we are his brothers and sisters. In your family, if you feel
all alone in your faith, take courage—you have lots of believing brothers and sisters. The Bible says that we were born— born-again, that is—into God’s family. Jesus said: “The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit. So, yes, our spiritual, church family has a certain “mysterious” element to it. But just like the wind is real, so the spiritual birth is real.

When Paul wrote to the church in Ephesus, he wrote this: I am writing to God’s holy people in Ephesus… God loved us and chose us before he made the world.” Your connection to your spiritual family began in eternity past and lasts until eternity future! The New Testament uses the word “church” in two ways. The first is God’s world-wide spiritual family, which we often call the “Universal Church.” It is all believers, at all times, and in all places—dead or alive. But the vast majority of the occurrences of the word “church” in the New Testament refer to local assemblies of believers. We call these “Local Churches.” In the New Testament, believers always are attached to a local assembly, a local church. Paul called the church “…the household of God…” The church is God’s children, God’s family.

You’re as close to your spiritual, eternal family as the investment you make in it. If we just show up here Sunday mornings we won’t really connect as a spiritual family. Our investment must reflect the importance Jesus places on the family of God. This is why serving your church family is critical. That’s what families do. This is why Community Groups are essential. Community is the context for loving and serving others. “While we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.”

If you are not yet a believer, a member of God’s family, please join us!

If you are a believer:

  • Know that the church is your real family too.
  • Purposefully connect, or else your spiritual family will be strangers to you.
  • Faithfully attend each week.
  • Give generously from the money God has lent you.
  • Find a way to serve.
  • If you’re not in a Community Group, commit to getting in one.
  • Membership is the foundational expression of connection and commitment.
  • Commit to not leaving your family—your church family.

Mothers routinely do these things in their flesh-and-blood families. Let’s learn from them, and honor our Father in heaven by loving his family, our church family, in the same way.

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