Borrowed Truths

For Whosoever Shall

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Borrowed Truths

For Whosoever Shall

I would like to pose a hypothetical question to you, one I am sorry to say you may not want to hear, much less ever need to address in your life.

Let us suppose that a dear brother in Christ that you have known for many years, perhaps even decades, has gone on to meet the Lord. A God-fearing man, one whose life exalted Christ in both actions and words, whose life was spent spreading the joy and word of Scripture to all that would listen, a man in whose home you had enjoyed many meals and wonderful fellowship. A good and godly friend. His funeral is this coming Friday, and you of course will be attending, for after the tears of internment have passed, the fellowship of joy and remembrance will lift everyone in attendance hearts to the praise of Jesus Christ, and words of “I can’t wait to see him again” will resound by many through out the gathering. It is Tuesday afternoon, the sadness is fresh, but you know that “Joy comes in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5)

As you arrive home, you see there is a message on the telephone answering machine, and as you push the button, you hear the voice of one of your two sisters, informing you that your brother has died, an unexpected heart attack. “The funeral is Friday, call me back.”

Please forgive me if I have inadvertently brought terrible memories back to your mind, it was not my intent, but I believe it is now quite clear what the question is, and it is not ‘What funeral should I attend,’ but rather “Who is my mother? And who are my brethren?” (Matt.12:48)

Let us assume for the stories sake, that no one in the immediate family of the man we are speaking of here is saved, in fact, holiday family gatherings were something he stopped attending long ago, and phone conversations had become shorter and further apart, until they stopped altogether. This man was known by his immediate family as the ‘religious one,’ expounding the Word of God whenever possible, knowing that they were lost and hoping each time that he spoke Scripture to any one of them it would be ‘that time,’ the time that one of them would come to the realization of the love that Jesus Christ had for them. But over time, almost five years now, he had stopped initializing any conversation of any kind, and it had been much longer than that since he had received anything more than an occasional secular Christmas card with only their names at the bottom. He still continued to pray for them, and hope had never died that they would repent and see the light of Christ’s love, but the thoughts of ‘shaking the dust of his feet from them’ (Matt.10:14) was becoming more and more real to him.

“For whosoever shall do the will of my Father…” (Matt. 12:50)

He of course had his own family, a loving wife and two children, even a grandchild on the way, and praise God, all served the Lord mightily and willingly. He with his wife had attended all of the family gatherings when his children where younger, and grimaced each time he saw his brothers and sisters children mocking and berating his own for talking about what they had learned in Sunday school class about Noah and the ark, Moses and the burning bush and all of the Sunday school stories they loved to hear. There were not a few nights after those get togethers that he held and comforted his children as they wept in their small beds, unknowing as to why they were being made fun of for loving Jesus. The conversations with his wife after the children finally fell asleep became heated at times, and for so many years he had tried to defend his position to her that they were his family, no matter how rude and callous they were about his faith and the faith of his wife.

But after time, they had become a burden that he no longer wanted to place on his wife and children, and so following Ephesians 5:25 and 31, the visits came to an end, and like the phone calls that had ceased, they were missed less and not expected. Then came this phone message, and the short, curt words that had said from a voice he had to take a moment to place a face with “your brother is dead.”

“Who is my mother? And who are my brethren?”

He did not want to, did not expect it to happen, but in his mind he began to compare these two brothers. One who nearly constantly berated his faith, the other who continually challenged him to “grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord,” (2nd Peter 3:18) one who always had a snickering remark about his need for a ‘crutch’ to get through life, the other who jokingly remarked, after he broke his leg and had to be in a wheelchair for a week, how much easier it was now for God to push him where He wanted him to serve, a ‘family’ that not only ridiculed him behind his back for being a ‘Bible thumper’ but sometimes to his face, a church family that loved him, his wife and children, who embraced him, reproved him in love when he made mistakes, a family of eternal care.

A smile came to his face as he stood by the  phone, he remembered like it was yesterday the comforting hug and thank-you kiss that his wife had given him the day he informed her that no longer would she have to face the cold, demeaning words and looks from his now former family, for they would not be in their presence again.

As he picked up the phone with the answer he now knew he would give, he heard the words in his mind, “For whosever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.”    

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