Matthew 12:46 - 50
ESV - 46 While he was still speaking to the people, behold, his mother and his brothers stood outside, asking to speak to him. 48 But he replied to the man who told him, "Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?
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Jesus received His true humanity from His mother, and He loved His earthly family dearly. But, as the gospels indicate, He began preparing them as early as age 12 (Luke 2:41-51) for the fact that He had been born for a purpose that only He could fulfill, and that had been given to Him by God the Father, to whom He owed an obedience that might differ from the priorities of His earthly family, and which that family sometimes found hard to understand or appreciate. That obedience included reaching as many people as possible with the message of the gospel during His earthly ministry. Everyone He met was someone for whom He was going to die, just as if they were the only person who had ever lived. He would not allow anything or anyone (even those as close to him as His mother and brothers) to divert Him from that mission. And those who responded to the call of the gospel gained a standing in Jesus' view that was equal to that of His mother and brothers. Also, although Jesus rightly characterized Himself as meek and lowly in heart (Matthew 11:29), He also said that whoever loved father, mother, son, or daughter more than Him was not worthy of Him (Matthew 10:37). This statement (which would undoubtedly be regarded as unbridled conceit if said by anyone else) challenges our notions of where our love and loyalties should lie. But Jesus is not asking anything of us that He Himself did not exhibit in His obedience to His Father.
The Jews believed they had a higher destiny than others because of their religion, and because they were children of Abraham. This extended especially to family members due to the strong ethnic and clannish nature of Jewish society at that time, even though some members would be inveterate sinners. Christ's sublime answer is one of the most memorable things he ever said (Matt 12: 46-48), and has never been equaled by any human being since. It constitutes the beginning of a major distinction between the Jewish and Christian religions. Perhaps it actually was a teaching moment for all future believers in Christ.
It's seems Jesus is capturing a teaching moment. "Who are my mother and brothers?" is a question asked to their minds and hearts. Anyone would loves me more, ARE my mother and brothers also. Teaching and loving can not be rushed or interrupted.
I have read that Jesus’ family was concerned that he had gone mad or that people might have thought he had gone mad and were worried about public reaction. They came to collect him and to take him home. His answer is simply that he had a new family to minister to. Strange as this viewpoint may seem (and it struck me as strange also), I read it in the Harper’s Bible Commentary. I know not where this information specifically came from, but one can see how his family would have feared for his safety in any case, and would have wanted him to return to the safety of his home. However, Jesus had another divine path to take and they did not understand this at that time.
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