Just as with the true Israel not being a matter of ancestry and flesh and blood, but of righteousness through faith, so with Jesus kinship is not a matter of birth but of obedience to God. Jesus declares that His true brothers and sisters are those who do God's will. We know that it is possible to be much nearer to someone who is no blood relation at all; it is often families which give the greatest grief. Many funerals I've conducted in the preparation of which the chief mourner has spoken to me about some member of the family that they really hope won't turn up! So, what is true kinship? 1. It lies in a common experience, especially when it is an experience where two people have come through things together. This is often seen nowadays in working camaraderie, particularly in such areas as policing, all medical work and the fire brigade. To be real friends doesn't just mean enjoying each others company, having a common experience or being able to reminisce together: it most importantly means having wept together. All Christians can experience a common kinship, because we have the common experience of being forgiven sinners. 2. So, true kinship lies in having a common interest. It is vital that every Christian believer is involved in a church fellowship, because everyone in attendance are people who want to know more about Jesus Christ. 3. True kinship lies in a common obedience. As we have already observed, the disciples were a very mixed group and that would continue to be the case at the beginnings of the Church. However, just as now, they were held together through a shared love of and obedience to Jesus Christ. We may have issues, challenges, differences of opinion within church fellowships; but ultimately we love each other because we love Jesus and worship Him as Lord. 4. True kinship lies in a common goal. There can be so many things which cause separation between one church fellowship and another, but if we are true followers of Jesus, we all have a common aim: to see Him glorified as more and more come to know Him also. The conversation should begin with what we have in common rather than what divides us.