Daily Reflections

Matthew 12:46-50

The nature of a good family home is a life shared together and lived together. It should nurture and nourish God’s commands of love and forgiveness, developing character through patience and perseverance, and fostering the growth of all its members. Family ties in the Jewish society of Jesus’ day were very strong. Those who were listening to Jesus would have felt passionate about the importance of their own families. So to extend this relationship beyond blood relatives was radical and would have challenged them.

In Jesus’ response to the messenger, he was not seeking to deny his family but to enlighten his listeners to the fact that a true disciple is one who obeys God. Through obedience to the will of God links between all the members of the family of God are created. Through obedience our relationship with Christ resembles the relationship of Christ with his Father. Jesus learned obedience (Heb. 5:8). He learned it by staying in close communion with his Father. Jesus wants us to learn from him and abide with him. Disobedience, through Adam, was how we became estranged from God our Father.

This is proof that acts of our will have consequences, sometimes drastic consequences. But the consequences are the fruit of our decisions and the exercise of our will. We have a choice, a choice that was laid down in the Old Testament for life or death. ‘Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse: the blessing, if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God…and the curse, if you do not obey…’ (Deut. 11:26-28).

We have this choice presented to us each day. At times this may be difficult. We may want to choose life, but not know what we should do. Our consciences are the place where the Holy Spirit makes known to us God’s will. Our difficulty is making time to listen to God’s voice and attributing to it the authority that it is rightfully due. Our consciences guard and protect our life – they are God’s gift to us. We need to learn to listen to and respect the voice of God speaking to us, to choose to obey him and in so doing to choose life.

‘Loving Father, by your grace you have shed your light on our consciences to know your will. Let my heart be as your heart, and my will as your will, as I live in obedience to you.’

Micah 7:14-15, 18-20  •  Psalm 84(85):2-8
Matthew 12:46-50

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