For years, people who are nominally Christians have been preached at and teached at to have a Christian home. The reason for this continual preaching has been that every one has recognized the value and desirability of a Christian home, while no one has been able exactly to achieve it. Forgiveness is all right in general, but when sister teases brother about his girlfriend, then forgiveness doesn’t apply. If parents and children differ about privileges and discipline, love is apt to be temporarily forgotten. Perhaps we are really not clear about what a Christian home is.
Christianity is based on the teachings of Christ, and the belief in Jesus as God. So perhaps we should ascertain his teachings about the home as a basis for our study. The Scripture lesson we read covered a few of Jesus’s statements concerning his family, and they are so different that you might not have recognized them as concerning the same subject. It would be nice to be able to turn to the New Testament and find a chapter devoted to this subject so we could have a clear picture of the Christian home once and for all. However, just as the Scriptures we read indicates, the teachings are few and scattered. Furthermore, sometimes they don’t show just what we expected them to show.
On one hand, Jesus tells us to honor our fathers and mothers, and then he turns around and says that unless we hate our families, we aren’t fit to be his followers. Assuming that his teachings might have been stated to fit certain occasions, we are still startled by looking into the relationship between Jesus and his own family.
The first clue about Jesus’s family relations occurs when he had attracted large crowds early in his ministry and his family, not being able to account for his ability, concluded that he was out of his mind and proceeded to try to seize him and take him out of circulation. That there was tension in the family is further indication by his renouncing his mother and brothers and sisters and saying that Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother. Agreed that he is here teaching something else, that is the importance of doing the will of God, but He did not necessarily have to belittle his family to demonstrate the teaching. We might believe that one cause of this family’s strained relations might be economic. In a day when there were no power tools, the labor of one man was important. If his brothers had undertaken building contracts, the lack of Jesus’s ability and labor as a carpenter might easily have worked a hardship on them. Furthermore, there may have been a twinge of jealousy. Jesus, their own brother, was attracting large crowds and was the center of attraction. And as the scripture indicates, they certainly thought him out of his mind and doubtless didn’t want to embarrass the family by having him do it publicly.