Mark 3:31-35

Talks for Growing Christians

Our Lord's Teaching about Family Relationships

Mark 3:31-35

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Lesson Number 15

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Spiritual ties are stronger than natural ties.
  2. Obedience is the evidence of membership in God's family.

Practical Application

  1. Remember that you are a member of a spiritual family.
  2. You can expect some conflict between your two families (spiritual and earthly).


  1. Where did Jesus' family travel from? Why did they leave?
  2. How is Mary's "perpetual divinity" disproved by the Scriptures?
  3. Who were Jesus' brothers? Were they believers?
  4. Which are stronger -- spiritual ties or natural ties? Can you expect some conflict between your natural and spiritual families?
  5. Should you ignore your family because of spiritual ties?
  6. Is there a characteristic that is evident of your membership in the family of God?


  1. From Nazareth, a distance of about thirty miles. To restrain Jesus' activity, thinking that He had over-extended Himself, and that He couldn't deal with the pressure.
  2. Jesus' brothers are mentioned. They were born after Jesus' birth. See Mark 3:31-32, John 7:5 and Matthew 1:23-25.
  3. See Mark 6:3. His brothers, at first, were not believers and were estranged because of Jesus' zeal. Later on they became believers, even writing the books of the Bible that bear their names, James and Jude. See also Psalm 69:8 and John 7:5.
  4. Spiritual ties are stronger. Membership in the family of God has a higher priority than the physical family (Mark 3:33-35). There may be friction between your earthly family and your spiritual family, especially if your earthly family are not believers. This was true in the passage under consideration, that Jesus' brothers were not believers. Look to the Lord for grace to live through trying times, and keep praying for the salvation of your family. Be a positive, steady witness to the grace and salvation of the Lord Jesus Christ.
  5. God has ordained the family, and it is important. See Mark 7:9-13. Remember, however, that your eternal destination is not determined by family ties.
  6. Obedience is that characteristic (Mark 3:35). The test of the reality of your salvation is your desire to obey the Lord in every area of your life.


  1. If there are divisions in your unsaved family because of spiritual ties, how should you live before them? How important is their salvation to you?
  2. Check the evidence that is characteristic of members of God's family. Do you exhibit this characteristic?


  1. Are you relying on spiritual family relationships? How reliable are you to your brothers and sisters in Christ?

Key Verses

  • "Jesus asked, 'Who is My mother, or My brothers? Here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of God is My brother and My sister and My mother." (Mark 3:33-35).

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