“For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.” Mark 3:35 KJV
A most revealing comment was made by Jesus concerning family. The story is related in the gospels by both Matthew and Mark. The ministry of Jesus had begun. He was performing incredible miracles, amazing the people with his teaching and sparring with the Pharisees, who were filled with unbelief. Huge crowds gathered around him. In the midst of these events Jesus was informed that —
Your mother and Your brothers are outside seeking You. Mark 3:32 NKJV
Undoubtedly the crowd thought Jesus would drop everything and tend to his closest relations. Yet, as he did so often, Jesus used the moment as a teaching opportunity and replied:
“Who is My mother and who are My brothers?” And He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and said, “Here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.” Matthew 12:48-50 NKJV
Now many would be astonished at the response of Jesus and perhaps even think he was disregarding his earthly family, but that’s not what was happening at all! Throughout his life Jesus showed deep love for his family. In speaking to the rich young ruler he affirmed the commandment
“Honour thy father and thy mother.” Matthew 19:19 KJV
And who can forget the touching scene at the cross where Jesus, in the agony of death, made certain his mother would be cared for —
When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold your son!” Then He said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!” And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home. John 19:26-27 NKJV
So, Jesus deeply loved his earthly family. Yet, what he was telling the crowd in our story was that family was much more than earthly relations. Make no mistake — this was quite a revolutionary statement. In ancient times blood relations were everything. Your brothers, uncles, cousins, etc. made up your clan and you stood united against everyone else. Jesus was laying the groundwork for a new kind of family — the community of believers. Everyone who followed him would be “in the family.” Not just those who were with Jesus at the time, but every future believer also! Jesus made a point of looking ahead to everyone that would follow him. The night before his crucifixion he prayed for his disciples and for us —
“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word: that they may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You, that they may be one in Us.” John 17:20-21 NKJV
Yes, Jesus prayed that we would be a family, united in Him!
In 1973, when Jan and I helped birth TBN, our vision was small and our goal was a single UHF station in Southern California. God did amazing miracles and our dream became a reality. Yet, there was so much more! Lo and behold there came a second station and then a third. Satellite linked us together and soon we had a real network of stations. But God wasn’t done yet! Foreign countries heard what was happening and wanted Christian television in their area. More stations joined the network, along with cable systems and direct to home satellite. The growth continued and soon much of the world was covered with the life-changing gospel.
And then something else happened!
The schedule of TBN was filled with great programs and programmers, but there were many more fine people and programs available. So, we started the Church Channel to provide a home for many alternate programs not on TBN. Then God gave a vision concerning the need for young people to have their own network and JCTV was born. Jan’s heart for children then inspired the Smile of a Child network. At the same time, many of our foreign stations in places like Italy, South Africa, Costa Rica, and Russia were themselves expanding and developing into true networks. We launched Arabic and Farsi language networks and the growth continued at a staggering pace! Now we’re a real family — the Trinity Broadcasting Family of Networks! 19 strong and still growing!
Like any family we’re made up of young and old, different personalities with different interests, but all with the same uniting goal — doing the will of God! Let me see if I can name the whole family: TBN, The Church Channel, JCTV, Smile of a Child, Enlace, Enlace Juvenil, the Arabic language Freedom TV, Farsi language Nejat, TBN Europe, Televisione Cristiana Italia, TBN Russia, Juice, Russian SOAC, TBN Africa, Family TV, CTV, TBN Asia, and Lighthouse TV!
Whew! What an amazing family! And like most families it will continue to grow, with more births and adoptions in the years ahead. As Jesus said: “whoever does the will of God is my family.” And what is the will of God? Jesus tells us clearly—
“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” Mark 16:15 NKJV
Partners, we’re fulfilling the great commission through our Family of Networks, reaching around the world in the languages of the people, and reports of salvation and healing are pouring in from the very ends of the earth. Will you help us continue this great work? Because of your continued support TBN is proclaiming the gospel around the world in many languages, through 19 networks on over 70 satellites, feeding TV stations, cable systems, and home satellite receivers, as well as reaching the internet through streaming and video on demand. We can’t stop now! Let’s continue proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ, so that multiplied millions can join us “in the family.” What a joy it will be to spend eternity not only with Jesus, but with those who love him from every tongue, tribe and nation. Yes, it’s all in the family!
TBN – America’s Most Watched Faith Channel. 39 years ago Paul and Jan (pictured with Matt and Laurie) helped birth TBN, which now reaches the entire world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
The Church Channel – Church Programs Every Hour
Harvest with Pastor Greg Laurie
Smile of a Child – Where Faith is Fun for Children
Pictured: The Mary Rice Hopkins and Puppets with a Heart program
Enlace – Faith for Hispanic Communities
Pictured: Pastor Danilo Montero from Lakewood Church
JCTV – Music Television to Believe In
Pictured: Top 3 co-host