Matthew 12:48 But He answered and said to the one who told Him, “Who is My mother and who are My brothers?”
Read: Matthew 12:46-50; Mark 3:31-35; Luke 8:19-21
Jesus still interacting with the crowd; not clear whether religious leaders are still present or not – possible they had left
hard to tell from print, but Jesus sounds more relaxed, focusing on genuine learners instead of challengers
“typical” rabbi / students gathering – Jesus singles out disciples (12:49), likely includes the Twelve, also other serious students/followers
see also Mark 3:21 – family concerned for Jesus’ health, especially his state of mind – riding the high from attention of all his fans, neglecting physical needs…
Person(s) being questioned:
“the one who told him” (Matt.); “a crowd …told him… he replied to them” (Mark); “told him by some… he answered them” (Luke)
group arrangement such that announcement would have to pass person-to-person to reach Jesus
like all of Jesus’ public teaching, had all of hearers in view; good to remember – Jesus gave additional instruction to Twelve, also inner circle of Peter, James, John
but… none of that instruction had nature of insider secrets – was given to them to be shared, passed on to others
Question behind the question:
Where did I really come from?
Why did I come?
What kind of relationships take precedence? see v.50, ref. to “Father”
since Jesus brings God into it, How does God define and rank relationships?
Where does that leave biological relationships? for God? for us?
well, Mary, of course – everybody knows who your mother is; your siblings, well, who are your mother’s other children?
few if any of followers had sufficient understanding to go beyond “obvious” on question like this
more to Jesus than meets the eye – came to earth, not from earth – has major bearing on Jesus’ relationships
…allusion to deity (My Father), Jesus not given to earthly family only but the whole world
age 12, in Jerusalem; conversation w/Nicodemus: “God loved the world”
Jesus more than locally famous rabbi, was on mission first to his own people but not exclusively
relations that share most common ground take priority – iow, ones that endure into next life, starting with Father/child
includes relationships that can be transformed into enduring ones
God’s basis – does he know you? see Matt. 7:22-23; two basic categories, number of terms used: knows / doesn’t know; saved / lost; called / not called; friends / enemies of God; born again (from above) / condemned; made alive / dead in trespasses and sins
biology matters to God, after all he made it; human family relationships factor into God’s dealings with people
Exodus 6:5 heard groaning of children of Israel, remembered covenant with Israel
1 Kings 11:12ff withheld judgment on Solomon for sake of his father
since God loved the world and sent his Son to the world, we must take Gospel to all the world, literally and figuratively
no place in world is outside God’s notice, regardless of impediments to access; same true for people groups whether in place or displaced
loyalty to Christ and his family comes first – see Matt. 10:37, 15:5-6, 19:29; does not make those relationships exclusive of others
primary investment of time, etc. should be in our “forever family”; should also invest in effort to add to that family
commands to honor father and mother, love neighbor still apply – Christian’s duty to do so in way that keeps Christ in his rightful place