“There came then His brethren and His mother, and, standing without, sent unto Him, calling Him. And the multitude sat about Him, and they said unto Him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren without seek for Thee. And He answered them, saying, Who is my mother or my brethren? And He looked round about on them which sat about Him and said, Behold My mother and My brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is My brother, and My sister, and mother.”
– Mark 3:31-35
Oh, how could Jesus be so mean to publicly disown His family that way! These were the people who were in His human life long before He began His ministry. They come to where He is teaching one day and call for Him and what does He say? “Who is My mother and My brethren?” Ah, but we forget that Jesus was God in the flesh — I AM Salvation (the meaning of His Hebrew name) — that He was not tied to this earth in any way. Indeed, when He was on the cross He cut His last human ties by telling His mother as He looked at John the beloved disciple, “Woman, behold thy son!” And then He told John, with whom I believe Jesus had a much closer friendship than He had with any of the others, “Behold thy mother!” The scripture tells us that, from that hour forward, John took Mary into his home. And it was after Jesus cut this final tie to this earth, according to John 19:28-30, that Jesus said, “It is finished” and died.
It is what Jesus said in response to the question about who His family was that is the important truth here. Notice what Jesus did and said: he looked around at those who were sitting around Him there in that place and said, “Behold My mother and My brethren!” His family was the men and women who followed Him: “For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is My brother, and My sister, and mother.” And that’s the message for us today: that if WE do the will of God, then WE are His brother and sister and mother — WE are His family. Brother Paul confirms our membership in the Lord’s family when he says in Galatians 3:26, “For ye are the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” He further confirms this in Romans 8:14-17: “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear, but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together.”
Yes, dear saints of God, we are His family. That is, of course, IF we are obedient to Him. That’s the lesson for us today. As our text tells us: “For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is My brother, and My sister, and mother.”
QUESTIONS TO PONDER:
1. What did Jesus say about His human family that seems to us a mean thing to say?
2. How did Jesus identify who His family was?
3. Who did Jesus say His family was?
4. What did Brother Paul say that confirms our text?
5. What does our text mean for us today?
Author, educator, theologian, scholar and Navy veteran Rev. Chancellor Carlyle Roberts II earned a Bachelor of Science degree in multidisciplinary studies (religion and special education) and a graduate certificate in global studies. He served in the United States Navy as a Religious Program Specialist from 1981 to 1992 and also served in the Persian Gulf War. He has served as a pastor, a Bible teacher, and a Sunday school teacher.
Roberts authored the books “God in Three What? An Examination of the Use of Persons in the Trinity Doctrine” (Publish America, 2006); “Homesick” (Publish America, 2010) and “We Believe: A Commentary on the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed of 381 A.D.” (Publish America, 2013).