Who is My mother, and who are My brothers?

Who is my mother and who are my brothers?

Matt 12:50

For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.

Mother and Brothers Visit

Jesus was speaking to a group of His disciples when someone said that His mother and brothers were outside and asking to speak to Him (Matt 12:46). Typically, you would think that most people would excuse themselves and say, “I’ll be right back. My mother wants to speak to Me,” but Jesus is not typical in any way. Instead of stopping and going outside to talk with His mother and brothers, who came seeking to talk with Him, He turns this question into another question to the man who told Him this. He asks a rhetorical question: Who is My mother and who are My brothers (Matt 12:48)? He certainly isn’t speaking about His biological mother or His brothers, who were really His half-brothers since they were related only by their mother. He is talking about those who believe in Him, and by believing in Him, they do what He asks. Jesus is not being disrespectful or rude to His mother or His brothers. Perhaps after He said this He went outside to speak with them. These verses don’t say that He totally ignored her either. We can’t read into the text what is not there.

Related by Obedience

If Jesus looked at your and my life, how would He know that we’re related to His Father? It would be obvious if we were obeying His Father, God the Father, in heaven. If we were nothing like our heavenly Father at all, and if we didn’t obey what God commanded, then clearly we wouldn’t be Jesus’ brothers because Jesus says that whoever does the will of the Father are His mother, brothers, and sisters (Matt 12:50). In other words, there’s a family resemblance, not by the way they look necessarily, but by the family customs:  doing God the Father’s will. If we are doing the will of the Father, we must be related to Him, and if we’re related to God the Father by adoption (Eph 1:5), then we are certainly related to Jesus.

Who’s Your Father?

If we are acting like God’s children, then we’ll be partaking of the same cup that Jesus had to drink from (Matt 20:22). We’ll be doing what God the Father wants us to do (Matt 12:50). We’ll be doing similar things that Jesus did (Matt 25:40), and like Jesus did to those who were around Him, He will stretch out His hand and say we are those who are truly His mother and brothers (Matt 12:49). It’s not a matter of bloodline, but a matter of discipleship. If we are related to God the Father, as evidenced by doing His will, we’re related to Jesus. It’s as simple as that.

A Closing Prayer

My Father in Heaven, please show me Your will. I know much of Your will is revealed in the Bible (Rom 12; 1 Cor 13), and if Your written will is revealed to me, I know that I should be doing that because it is pleasing to You. Like Jesus, I want to always seek to do Your will, my Father, and for Your glory alone.  It is in Jesus’ the Son of God’s name I pray.


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