So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words.
Then the whole congregation of the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness.
Even His brothers did not believe in Him.
When Eve preferred a snake's word and Adam preferred his wife's word--above God's Word, family priorities twisted. Similar entanglements continue. Because to forget God's Word is to unplug a long extension Cord, stuff It in a box and pull It out on occasion. Disconnection from our Power Source invites tangles.
Consider some unplugged family members in the Bible: Cain got jealous and killed Abel. Lot got greedy and left Abraham. Sarah got impatient and received Ishmael. Jacob got sneaky and tricked Esau. Joseph's brothers got hateful and sold him. The children of Israel got cranky and denounced Moses.
David's son got proud and seized Israel's throne. Jesus' brothers got indignant and doubted Him. Worst of all, God's chosen people rebelled against His sovereignty and got adulterous--again and again.
When Jesus came, a new time came with Him. He fulfilled God's Law--then simplified It.
' 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great Commandment. And the second is like It: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two Commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets' (Matthew 22:37-40).
To demonstrate these priorities, He allowed Himself to be hung upon a Cross.
Note: Our family members (our brethren) are not specifically mentioned in God's top two Commandments. Instead, He directs our attention to our neighbors: others within our reach. Jesus makes this uncomfortable directive clear: 'He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me' (Matthew 10:37).
Actors, models and talent for Christ: the hardest skeptics to ignore come from your own family. But God says you cannot prefer your family to Christ. You cannot prefer their blood to His Blood. You cannot prefer their desires for your life to God's call on your life. To do so invites ruin.
God knows you love them fervently. He loves them more. Sometimes, you must walk beyond them to reach your destiny--which allows them to reach their own. But take heart. As the kin of Jacob, Joseph and Jesus prove, families can reassemble--and be better than before.
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Skeptics series.