46 While he was still speaking with the crowds, his mother and brothers were standing outside wanting to speak to him. 47 Someone told him, “Look, your mother and your brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.” 48 He replied to the one who was speaking to him, “Who is my mother and who are my brothers?” 49 Stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” — Matthew 12:46-50
“Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?”
by Megan Munson
At first reading, this passage appears to show Jesus rejecting His earthly family as He asks, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” However, we know Jesus was without sin, so in no way is He breaking the Old Testament command by dishonoring His mother. He even ensured His mother was cared for after His death as He was dying on the cross. So what did Jesus mean by asking that question, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?”
He follows the question with an answer, pointing at His disciples and saying, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” This, of course, is really good news for us! By believing in Jesus and seeking to follow God’s will, we are adopted into God’s family. We become Jesus’ brothers and sisters! While our earthly families are important, Jesus shows us that His spiritual family is even more so.
As one thinks about their family, a wide range of emotions can surface. Many people have happy memories and positive relationships with family members. They love and care about their family, much as Jesus did with His family. For others, thinking about their family may cause pain because of trauma, abuse, abandonment, etc. It may be really difficult to think about honoring a mother or father, if there is any relationship with them at all.
No matter what your family looks like, however, Jesus wants you to be a part of His. He wants to spend time with you. He wants you to talk to Him. He will never abandon you. He will help you heal from hurts that may have been caused by your earthly family members. He loves you—so much in fact that He laid down His life for you. Rejoice in the fact that Jesus wants you to be a part of His family!
- Are you a part of Jesus’ family? If not, what steps do you need to take to become a brother or sister of Christ?
- How would your Christian family be different from your birth family?
- In what ways can your Christian family help meet needs in your own life that your birth family cannot?
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible® and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.