anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father
and mother, wife and children, brothers and
sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot
be My disciple. And whoever does not bear his
cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.
As Yahshua said these things to His followers,
perhaps He thought back to the time when even
He had to disregard the words of His own mother,
Miriam. That day He had been sitting in the
house with His circle of disciples and the
crowds of people who hung on His every word.
Filled with the Holy Spirit, He was speaking
to them in parables, but the priests and the
Pharisees were outraged. “Who does this
nobody from Nazareth think he is, telling the
people that the religion of today is corrupt?
We are the ones chosen to teach about God...
this man has lost his mind!”
Word had reached His mother and brothers
that He had gone crazy and that He had a demon!
What could have happened to Him since that
day so long ago when He was a small boy and
yet He confounded all the teachers in the temple
with His deep understanding of the Law and
the Prophets? Why weren’t those same
men accepting Him now? Surely He must have
gone off... Something had gone wrong... She
must go immediately and get Him before it was
But remember the words of Simeon back when
He was just a little baby and Mary and Joseph
had brought Him to the temple to be dedicated? “Behold
this child is appointed for the fall and rise
of many in Israel, and for a sign to be spoken
against. And a sword will pierce even your
own soul…” (Luke 2:34-35). What
did that mean? Why would the Messiah be spoken
against? Shouldn’t He be received with
great pomp and ceremony? Certainly something
So off she went with her other sons to rescue
Him. When she arrived at the house it was so
packed full of people that she couldn’t
even get in. People were sitting and standing
anywhere they could, just to hear what He was
saying, just to catch a glimpse of Him. And
there were the Pharisees, filled with jealousy
toward this imposter who was stealing all their
loyal disciples away and telling them the truth.
How they hated the truth, grinding their teeth
at every word that shined a light into their
dark souls, revealing that they were really
nothing but hollow shells that produced no
Leaders and Laity
The Master had said to them, “Therefore
I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken
away from you and given to a people producing
the fruit of it.” (Matthew 21:43) They
were the leaders of a dry and mystical religion
that had no love in it, nor any semblance of
a link back to God. But still, they were the
leaders. They obeyed the law meticulously,
so they didn’t need love or joy or peace
or patience, gentleness, self-control, or any
of the things that this man talked so much
about. However, it was these very qualities
that captured the hearts of the people. The
leaders had the Law of Moses and the traditions
of Judaism, which had been passed down for
hundreds of years. Now all their people were
being misled by this blasphemer. They would
have to do something to gather their sheep
back into the fold, or else they would lose
their entire nation.
there was Miriam, Yahshua’s own mother,
hearing all the things these respected leaders
were saying about her Son. But did she remember
the words? “… and a sword will
pierce your own soul to the end that thoughts
from many hearts may be revealed.” Did
she understand that the very thoughts of their
hearts were being revealed?
His Circle of Disciples
“Can you please give this message to
my son?” she asked the nearest bystander. “Please
tell him that his mother and brothers are here
to see him… We need to talk to him right
away.” She waited anxiously for him to
come running out. “Surely he’ll
come out to talk to me after all I’ve
done for him. I mean, I am his mother.”
He would never want to split up families,
especially his own family, would he? Would
God ever ask such a thing? After a moment or
two, she noticed a hush come over the crowd.
She strained her ears to hear whether the message
had made it to him… Then she heard the
reply. Yes, she knew it came from him, she
knew his voice so well. “Who are my mother
and my brothers?”
Desperately pushing aside those in her way
she made her way close so He could see her.
But she noticed Him looking around at His circle
of disciples who were sitting tightly around
him… then He was motioning to them.
“Behold my mother and my brothers?
For whoever does the will of God, he is my
brother and sister and mother.” Like
a knife the words plunged into her soul. He
would not come out... He was devoted to those
people sitting with Him in there. He would
stay with them.
The words of Simeon resounded in her heart
with unmistakable clarity. Now she understood.
He had now become the sign that would be spoken
against. He had become the witness of God on
the earth that would be opposed by all the
spiritual forces of the evil one. And the evil
one was manifested in the leading men of their
religion – the preachers of their congregations
and synagogues. They were the ones speaking
But He didn’t care what the religious
leaders thought of Him. No, He was gathering
people who would set themselves apart to do
the same thing He had – to be holy and
set apart, a nation separate from the world.
He would establish the true kingdom of God
on the earth, even if it separated mother from
son and brother from brother. He would not
compromise or let the gospel be watered down.
He wanted a circle of disciples who would take
on His own heart. Therefore He said, “By
this all men will know that you are My disciples,
if you have love for one another.” (John
13:35) How could His disciples have true love
for one another if they all lived their own
separate lives? How could their love be shown
as a witness so that all men would know and
be persuaded that they were true disciples
unless they shared a common life together?
Obeying the Gospel
The Master never meant for there to be divisions
and dis-unity among His followers. He wanted
there to be love and care to show how God really
In John 17:11, just before He was brutally
murdered, the Master had earnestly prayed the
greatest desire in His heart, “I am no
longer in the world; and yet they themselves
are in the world, and I come to You. Father,
keep them in Your name, the name You have given
Me, that they may be ONE even as You and I
Is His prayer relevant today? Shouldn’t
what was so important to the Master back then
be just as important today? It had enough weight
then that people were abandoning all their
possessions and their families to be a part
of it. But now most who claim to follow Him
are still living their own independent lives
and maybe going to church once or twice a week.
And they say about the Master’s words, “Oh,
that was for back then. Things are different
now.” But why shouldn’t the gospel
be obeyed today just as it was in the beginning?
Can’t we break out of the sleepy religious
traditions we have grown up with and recapture
the vitality and excitement of those early
believers we read about in the Book of Acts?
Yes! Now there is a group of people who are
obeying the gospel with all their hearts. They
are actually living a life of love and unity,
laying down their lives for each another every
day. They are getting back to the roots of
the true church, the community, not living
their own selfish lives, all the while believing
that they are doing the will of God. They really
live together in community, just like the first
church did back then. They deny themselves
daily, putting the words of their Master into
practice in their own lives, not reasoning
them away and excusing their lack of obedience
to the gospel He preached.
more on the name Yahshua, see What's
in a Name.