Relationships are important. In the Creation story, God made that clear when He said it was not good for the man, Adam, to be alone (Genesis 2:18). And so God created woman. From the relationship between man and woman, came children, and the world became populated with people, people who needed and desired the relationship of others. Relationships can be found in the form of close and long-lasting friendships, they can be found in the form of the intimate relationship between spouses, and they can be found in the close-knit relationship of families. All these relationships are both necessary and good. But what is the most important relationship?
In Mark 3:31-35, Jesus was sitting with a crowd of people when His mother and His brothers came seeking Him. People in the crowd brought this to Jesus’ attention, probably assuming that He would get up and go to them. Jesus’ response likely took them by surprise. Jesus asked, “Who is my mother? And, who are my brothers?” He then looked at His closest disciples who were sitting around Him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does God’s will is my brother and my sister and my mother.” In Luke 14:26, Jesus said that if anyone comes to Him but does not hate his own father and mother, wife and children, and sisters and brothers, that person cannot be His disciple. So, is Jesus saying that our relationships with our families and our friends are not important? Not at all!
In Matthew 15:4, referring to God’s commandments Jesus said that we need to honor our parents. In John 15:12-13, He taught that we must love another and that there is no greater love that someone can show than to lay down his life for his friends. Jesus placed high value on the relationships that we have with our family and with our friends. Jesus expects us to love our families, to love our friends. He expects us to cherish the relationships in our lives. But, if we are truly His disciples, then we must cherish our relationship with Him, our relationship with God, above all others. And we do that by always seeking to do His will in our lives.
All of our relationships are important, but our most important relationship is our relationship with Jesus.