Each week, Pastor G writes a short devotional blog on the church website that is based on a different Hawaiian Word each week. Then he writes a longer message devotional to deliver on Wednesday nights.
Tonight’s ‘Olēlo Hawai’i word is ʻOhana which means “family.”
“‘Ohana means family and family means nobody gets left behind, or forgotten.” ~ Lilo from Disney’s “Lilo and Stitch”
Hānai ~ adopted ‘ohana.
For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” … And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. ~ Romans 8:15, 23
While He was still speaking to the crowds, behold, His mother and brothers were standing outside, seeking to speak to Him. Someone said to Him, “Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside seeking to speak to You.”But Jesus answered the one who was telling Him and said, “Who is My mother and who are My brothers?” And stretching out His hand toward His disciples, He said, “Behold My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother.” ~ Matthew 12:46-50
WHY DOES JESUS RESPOND IN THIS WAY?
He wasn’t lowering the value of His biological family! He was elevating the value of His spiritual family.
He’s not saying “think less” of your biological family – He’s saying “think more” of your spiritual family.
To be clear, Jesus isn’t using this as a metaphor. It’s not a figure of speech. He’s not saying, you Christians, you are “kinda like” family now, treat each other “AS IF” you were brothers and sisters. No. He is saying we ARE brothers and sisters. We ARE family in every sense of the word. If we follow Him, we are OHANA with one another and with Him and His Father. Isn’t that incredible GOOD NEWS?
Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven. Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household. 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. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 3He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it. ~ Matthew 10:33-37
He doesn’t mean that this situation is His desired intent. He didn’t come to earth with the intent to bring war amongst family members and separate human families from each other. That wasn’t His goal, that was the opposite of His heart’s desire in fact. The Apostle Peter reminds us:
The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. ~ 2 Peter 3:9
Jesus’ true, ultimate desire is for all to be saved, for all to join His new Ohana, for all to experience His peace. For no one to war against each other.
He’s just prophesying here in Matthew 10 that, unfortunately, given the choice of accepting or rejecting Jesus, this is what will happen in many cases.
If it comes down to choosing one ohana over another – Jesus is clear – we need to be part of the family of God – even if it costs us our earthly ohana along the way.
Then Peter said to Him, “Behold, we have left everything and followed You; what then will there be for us?” And Jesus said to them, “Truly I say to you, that you who have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or farms for My name’s sake, will receive many times as much, and will inherit eternal life. ~ Matthew 19:27-29