Who Is My Mother?

Oct 31, 2014 1939

Who is your mother46 While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him. 47 Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.”

48 He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” 49 Pointing to 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

You have to use your imagination to get the background to these very strange verses.

I can imagine that his mother and brothers back home in Nazareth had been hearing disturbing reports about what Jesus was up to in Galilee, as news trickled in of the things he was reported to be claiming and of the things he was reported to be doing. They must have thought that Jesus had lost his marbles. And so Mary gathered her younger sons together and said to them, “That’s it! I’ve had enough! He’s ruining the family reputation! Get your things together, we’re going to find him and bring him home! This has to stop!”

Eventually they track him down where he is speaking to the people in a small house in one of the towns of Galilee, but they can’t get in to get him, because the house is packed with people. And so they ask that a message be sent in to Jesus that his mother and brothers are standing outside, waiting to speak with him.

In a culture where family ties were vastly stronger than in our day, Jesus’ answer is rude, and beyond shocking, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” It’s as if Jesus is rejecting his family.

And then he points to his disciples and he says, “Here are my mother and here are my brothers.” And he goes on to say that his family is whoever does the will of his Father in heaven.

What was Jesus doing? He wasn’t denying his earthly family. He wasn’t telling people to leave their families.

Instead, what he was doing was that he was putting things in perspective. He was subordinating all earthly ties to His relationship with his heavenly Father and the family of the kingdom of God. He was saying, “When even your earthly family has rejected you, remember that you belong to an even more important family that reaches to heaven itself – a family where the will of God is understood and done.”

The wonderful thing is that Mary and Jesus’ brothers came to understand this in time. It took the Easter Friday and Resurrection Sunday, but they understood it. It is a hard lesson for us all to learn.

So from whom do you get your identity, your values, your sense of belonging? What is it that determines your path in life, your objectives? From where do you get your drive? For what do you strive? Seek first the kingdom of God, even above all of the earthly influences that have shaped your life, even above the approval of your own society, culture, and even your family. And then you will have everything you need.

Because the time may come when your family will standing outside your door, thinking you are crazy – either bad or mad – and you will have to rely on your adoption as a son or daughter into the Kingdom of God. And even if you’re family never thinks you’re crazy, when you put God first in your family relationships, they are usually better and stronger and so much more enriching.

Ultimately, who do you follow? Who is your mother?

Eliezer Gonzalez

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