Jesus' True Family
& Stormstopper #1
(Luke 8:19-25)

Please note,due to server problems we were unable to copy the log of the actual study.

Luke 8:19-25 January 11,1999

Last time we concluded our study of the Parable of the Sower with comments on finding our ministry and calling in the Body of Christ so that we can be fruitful and productive in the kingdom. Tonight we begin studying at Luke 8:19, and find the answer to the question, who are Jesus' true relatives?

A note before we start. I realize that Catholics do not believe that Jesus had blood brothers, that is, sons of Mary and Joseph. Catholics believe that the term that is translated "brothers" in the NIV should be translated "relatives", and refers to cousins or something.

This word, "adelphos" {ad-el-fos'} in Greek, is from "a "(as a connective particle) and "delphus" (the womb); with the primary meaning of a brother, whether born of the same two parents or only of the same father or mother.

It can also mean having the same national ancestor, belonging to the same people, or countryman, any fellow or man, a fellow believer, united to another by the bond of affection, an associate in employment or office, brethren in Christ whether his brothers by blood or all men, apostles or Christians, as those who are exalted to the same heavenly place.

Since adelphos can have secondary meanings, I see no need to argue about it. Let everyone be fully persuaded in his own mind, and let's agree that adelphos here means some close relative, whether brother or cousin, who was concerned about Jesus. The point of the passage remains the same whichever meaning you choose to use.

Luke 8:19 Now Jesus' mother and brothers came to see him, but they were not able to get near him because of the crowd.

Now Nazareth was about 30 miles from Capernaum. Why did Jesus' family make such a long trip to seek Him out? The motives of his mother and brothers is revealed in Mark 3:21: When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, "He is out of his mind." Why did they think Jesus was out of his mind? "

He was arousing the opposition of leaders in a way that seemed reckless to them. He had abandoned his role as head of the family, and was making what must have seemed outrageous claims. The Pharisees claimed that Jesus was demon-possessed.

At this time Jesus' brothers were unbelievers: John 7:5 For even his own brothers did not believe in him. Protestants believe that these brothers were younger sons of Mary and half-brothers of Jesus.

Luke 8:20 Someone told him, "Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to see you."

It was so crowded that they couldn't get close, so apparently the word was passed to Jesus that they were waiting for him. The appearance of His family created a rather delicate situation for Jesus. He had always been obedient to His mother but to obey her now would mean abandoning His God-given ministry.

Mary certainly knew the truth about Him, but somehow she was persuaded to join the others in this effort. Perhaps, like many, Mary expected the behavior and teachings of the Messiah to be somewhat different from the way Jesus was behaving. Gently but firmly Jesus made it clear that they could not control His ministry.

Luke 8:21 He replied, "My mother and brothers are those who hear God's word and put it into practice."

Jesus, who at age 12 said, "I must be about my Father's business", was now doing so. The natural bonds of family took second place to that call. Mary and Jesus' earthly family had no special claim on Him. It was those who heard the Word and obeyed it that had a genuine and vital relationship with Him .

Even His mother and brother were not exempt from this truth. The real brothers and sisters of Jesus are those who hear and obey God's will. Spiritual relations are more important than physical relationships. The spiritual family is far more important and far more lasting than any physical family can be.

How about you? Are you putting family relationships and responsibilities above serving God according to His Word? Now I'm not advocating neglecting your family, please understand. It is very important to take care of your own.

But if you are letting their opinions control your service for God, especially if they are keeping your from fulfilling your calling and ministry, they have stepped beyond their rights as parents or siblings, and have taken the place of God in your life.

Matthew 10:32, 37 "Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven…Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me"

"Acknowledge" here is homologeo {hom-ol-og-eh'-o} meaning to say the same thing as another, i.e. to agree with, assent, to concede, not to refuse, to promise, not to deny, to confess, declare , to profess: to declare openly, speak out freely , to profess one's self the worshipper of one and to praise, celebrate.

Jesus was very clear on this point. You must not only hear God's Word, but you must put it into practice. If this means breaking family bonds, so be it. Are you "saying the same thing" as Jesus in your family life? Are you confessing and professing freely your faith in Him, declaring yourself to be a worshipper, praiser and celebrator of the Lord Jesus Christ?

But if we have to sacrifice our familial relationships for Him, He has promised that we will be rewarded for our faithfulness, receiving a hundred-fold return in this life, and after this, eternal life:

Mark 10:29-30 "I tell you the truth," Jesus replied, "no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields--and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life.

So if your family is placing stumbling blocks in your path, if they think you're crazy for following Jesus "all the way", especially if they are of another belief, be encouraged. You are not alone.

Jesus was the first who forsook his family to follow God, and many have followed upon this path. This reminds me of a prayer request I received today, that I would like to share with you and pray about.

baxtor wrote: :"I have received an urgent prayer request through someone in my church. There is a beautiful 15 year-old girl named Saleema in Pakistan who is a Christian. She converted her close friend, 14. This youngster was so excited about Christianity that she told her parents and they killed her! It looks like the 15-year old is to be publicly executed. We need to send up prayer for this child...please pass this on!!!"

Father we are thankful that we do live in a country where terrible things like this don't happen. Lord please undertake for this sister in the Lord who is valiantly standing up for you under horrible circumstances. Send a deliverer to bring her out of this trial. Help all the Christians in Pakistan who are facing terrible opposition from the Muslims.

Help those who may be watching tonight who are being persecuted for their faith, especially those misunderstood and rejected by their families. Comfort them with the fact that their Lord suffered in a similar way, was despised and rejected by men, and give them great peace. In Jesus Name AMEN

Luke 8:22 One day Jesus said to his disciples, "Let's go over to the other side of the lake." So they got into a boat and set out.

Notice that Jesus' intention was to go over to the OTHER side of the lake. And when the Son of God intends to do something, it WILL be accomplished. And Jesus said let US go over to the other side - He intended that He AND His disciples arrive safely to the other side, no matter what.

And if the Son of God tells you that you ARE going to make it, YOU ARE GOING TO MAKE IT no matter what storms may blow up, or what circumstances may try to trip you up, YOU ARE GOING TO MAKE IT!

Luke doesn't tell us what day it was when Jesus stilled the sea, but Mark 4:35 says it was the same day in which Jesus taught in parables. Mark 4:35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, "Let us go over to the other side."

Luke 8:23 As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger.

It must have been late in the day, when Jesus was tired from His teaching and ministering. "The soft sounds of the rowing and the gentle sway of the boat lulled Him to sleep, and He slept so soundly that He was not awakened by roaring wind, dashing spray, and the violent motion of the storm-tossed boat. Jesus was the divine Son of God, but He was also human, which means that He could suffer fatigue just as we do."

"The Sea of Galilee is well known for the storms that can suddenly and violently come upon it. The mountains around the Sea of Galilee have many ravines that are like funnels through which the wind can rush down with great velocity."

In the Greek, it was called "a great storm of wind". Great storm is lailaps {lah'-ee-laps} meaning a whirlwind, a tempestuous wind, a violent attack of wind, a squall, not just a single gust nor a steady blowing wind, however violent, but a storm breaking forth from black thunder clouds in furious gusts, with floods of rain, and throwing everything topsy-turvy. Wind is anemos {an'-em-os} meaning wind, a violent agitation and stream of air, a very strong tempestuous wind

We might call it a whirlwind, a water spout, or a hurricane today. Some of Jesus disciples were experienced fishermen, and the storm was so violent it even frightened even them. but Jesus SLEPT through the storm. Wow, could you sleep through a hurricane? No, you'd be just as upset as the disciples were! Why did Jesus continue to sleep?

Jesus was the Son of God, and He WAS going to the other side. No storm, no hurricane, no tempest, no cresting wave or foamy deep could stop Him. He was sleeping, resting in God's Hands, knowing that the Father would not bring Him to harm, at peace and full of faith.

Mark reports that there were other small boats with them, and the storm was swamping them with the overflow of water.

Mark 4:36-37 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also OTHER BOATS with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped.

Perhaps the other people in these boats were also "putting pressure" on the disciples, crying out for help, and blaming the disciples because they were in danger and Jesus was still sleeping. You know a lot of times, we can "react" to the pressures of others, and step out of God's will, and replace our faith with doubt and fear. We need to focus on Jesus at all times, and not be swayed by the crises or criticisms of others.

Luke 8:24 The disciples went and woke him, saying, "Master, Master, we're going to drown!" He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm.

The disciples on the other hand, really didn't believe Jesus when He said, "Let US go to the other side". The were looking at the storm, and not at the STORM STOPPER! They were looking at the circumstances, not at their Lord who rules the circumstances.

How about us? Do we get all stressed out when things go wrong, thinking that the storms of life will drown us? Do we REALLY believe that Jesus will bring us safely TO THE OTHER SIDE?

Mark 4:38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?"

Mark records that the disciples woke Jesus to whine, "Jesus don't you care what happens to us?" Is the middle of a hurricane a good time to throw a pity party? Is a crisis a good time to panic?

When you are confronted by trials, do you feel sorry for yourself or let fear take over? The best way to handle any crisis, any storm, is NOT to waste time feeling sorry for yourself or panicking, but to step out in faith and take charge of the winds and waves in Jesus' Name!

And wasn't their question ridiculous? After all, if they drowned, Jesus would drown also. And He said, Let US go OVER to the OTHER side. Jesus had no intention of drowning or letting His disciples drown. They were focusing on the problem, and not the solution, and feeling sorry for themselves because Jesus did not do things THEIR way.

Can you whine and have faith at the same time? "Woe is me, God doesn't care. Jesus won't help me" NOT TRUE! "Why does this always happen to me?" YOU ALLOW IT TO HAPPEN. Can you feel sorry for yourself because of your circumstances, and at the same time have faith that God can and will deliver you from them?

Philippians 2:14-15 Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe

Note that the ABSENCE of complaining, whining, murmuring and arguing shows that you are blameless children of God. Do you want to SHINE? Don't WHINE!!!!

Amplified: Philippians 2:14 Do all things without grumbling and faultfinding and complaining [against God] and questioning and doubting [among yourselves].

God's an easy target when things go wrong, isn't He? After all, the "buck stops here"! But can you justify blaming God and whining that He doesn't care, when He has given you everything you need to live a godly life and to be an overcomer, sailing through the storms of life through the power of His grace?

Isaiah 40:27 Why do you say, O Jacob, and complain, O Israel, "My way is hidden from the LORD; my cause is disregarded by my God"?

Complaining against God is nothing new and the disciples should have remembered this popular passage from Isaiah. They should have remembered who God is and what Jesus was calling them to do. If God has called you to a ministry, do you really think He'll let the devil "take you out" before your job is completed?

Isaiah 40:28 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.

When things go wrong, when the storms come, we need to focus on our God, not the problem. Remember He is everlasting, our Creator, our Savior, who has numbered the very hairs of our head. And no crisis ever takes HIM by surprise!

Isaiah 40:29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. I know we all grow weary at times, and feel weak. But God is our source. He gives the strength, the power to overcome the storms of life.

Isaiah 40:30-31 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

The key is to HOPE IN THE LORD, not our own strengths. And then we will SOAR like eagles way, way above all problems and storms of life! Take charge over the storm in Jesus Name!

Mark tells us that Jesus REBUKED the storm: Mark 4:39 He got up, REBUKED the wind and said to the waves, "Quiet! Be still!" Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.

Rebuke in the Greek epitimao {ep-ee-tee-mah'-o} and means to adjudge, award, in the sense of merited penalty; to tax with fault, rate, chide, rebuke, reprove, censure severely, to admonish or charge sharply. Isn't this an odd word to use to calm a storm? Why do you think that Jesus would rebuke the weather?

This is the same word used when Jesus rebuked the demon Luke 4, and we can see why Jesus would penalize the demon for inhabiting one of God's children. The next event in Luke's Gospel is the glorious deliverance of a man possessed by 6,000 demons in the region of Gadara. satan apparently "pulled out all the stops" to try to prevent this from occurring and to try to destroy Jesus..

Also Jesus was Lord of the wind and waves. How dare they try to interfere with His passage across the Sea of Galilee? A storm trying to destroy the Creator of the wind and waves was certainly out of order!

Jesus said, Peace, be still! Peace here is siopao {see-o-pah'-o} from siope (silence, i.e. a hush, properly, muteness, an involuntary stillness, or inability to speak), meaning to be silent, to hold one's peace, used metaphorically of a calm, quiet sea. Peace here has the connotation of a forced silence. The sea became silent or calm because the Lord of the sea told the tempestuous winds and waves to hush.

When the storms of life rage around you, and even inside you, Jesus can make them be still and bring you great calm. People will wonder what's wrong, because you will be so still and at peace. Just have faith in Jesus.

Remember, whenever God gives us a revelation, the devil tries to steal it from us. Guard your hearts and meditate on what you've learned!
And put it into practice!

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Original Lesson 1/11/99
Revised: May 02, 2001.