A Family Resemblance

Mark 3:31-35

by Dan

In 1971, T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria Virginia was to be integrated and is portrayed in the 2000 movie, Remember The Titans.  The high school football team, the Titans faced a racially charged training camp and season.  Gerry Bertier was the white captain of the team and an all-American.  Julius Campbell was an outstanding African America player.  Gerry and Julius would bond, as well as the team and go on to win the state championship.  Tragically, Gerry was involved in an accident, paralyzed from the waste down, and could not play in the state championship.  In the hospital, Gerry only wanted Julius to visit him.  When Julius went to Gerry’s room, the attending white nurse said, “Only immediate family can visit.” Gerry replied, “He’s my brother, can’t you see the resemblance?”

Jesus was teaching in a home where a crowd and the Pharisees had come from Jerusalem to hear him.  When Jesus’s family heard about this, they came to the house to take charge of him since they thought he was out of his mind.  The Pharisees accused him of being the devil.  When Jesus’s mother and brothers arrived at the house, the crowd came to Jesus and said that his mother and brothers are outside looking for you. When Jesus asked them, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” He then turned to those sitting around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers: Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”  As dismayed as the white nurse was in Gerry’s hospital room, so the Pharisees, crowd, and family members must have been equally shocked.  Not ethnicity, social status, culture, or even family membership was Jesus’s requirement to be a brother, sister, or mother. It was whomever does God’s will!  Faith in the Good News of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins was what it took. Jesus is the one who connects people across racial, social, economic, and cultural barriers and helps people to say to one another, “ He/she is my brother/sister.  Can’t you see the resemblance?”