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Family trouble

As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, “Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.” Luke 11.27


This spontaneous reaction to Jesus celebrates the role in his life played by his mother, Mary. However Jesus' response, "Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it", introduces a note of equivocation. Along with other pieces of evidence, this exchange might suggest that Jesus did not enjoy an altogether harmonious relationship with his earthly family. Is that fair? It is hard to say. But, when you think about it, families instinctively want the best for each other. So, when one member sees another in danger or under stress, they may well try to intervene. The reaction of his family to Jesus' ministry, which was both stressful and dangerous, was probably well-intentioned but perhaps not always helpful.

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