The Family Of God

Matthew 12: 46-50

While he was still speaking to the people, behold, his mother and his brothers stood outside, asking to speak to him. But he replied to the man who told him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

Understanding And Applying the Text

Here is a strong, if not definitive, denial of Rome’s Mariology. Jesus Mother, i.e. Mary and his brothers came to take him away. According to Mark, they came because they believed Jesus was out of His mind. (Mark 3:21-31). Unbelief is a sin. It is clear Jesus’ family did not believe. This included Mary. Thus Mary was not sinless.

That is not to say Mary was not a great woman. Abraham was a great man. But he was by no means sinless. He failed many times. Yet he is the one God chose to birth the nation of Israel. Mary need not be sinless to be the mother of Jesus, the Christ.

What was Jesus’ response when told His family wanted to speak to Him? He looked at His disciples and said they were His family. Mary’s actions were improper. She wanted to interrupt if not halt Jesus’ ministry. His response was a rebuke of Mary and the rest of the family.

But His message was deeper. Jesus taught a doctrine that is difficult to swallow. Jesus diminished the relationship of flesh and blood. At the same time elevated the relationship of all believers to an equal or greater level.

Jesus said there is no greater relationship than a spiritual relationship. Think about what that means to you. Christ has elevated us, believers in Him, to the level of Mary and James and the rest of Jesus’ family. Why? It was not because of anything we did? He, Christ, elevated us to this position through grace.

You say hold on, read the rest of the passage. “For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” Do not confuse cause and effect. Doing the Father’s will is the result of Christ bringing you into His family. It is not the cause. Second, what is the will of the Father? “For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” (John 6:40) Believing in Christ is the Father’s will. It is clear from the passage Jesus’ physical family, at that moment, did not believe.

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