Question: In Luke 8:21, Jesus is responding to a report that his mother and brothers are standing outside and want to see Him. He says, “My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it.“ Why would He give an answer like that? Was He using them as an example?
I love the illustrations we see in scripture. When I first became a Christian I would read the Bible for hours a day, being incredibly blessed by what I read. Interestingly, I failed at times to see some of the deeper things lying right there in those pages. What’s incredible is that when you slow down and really consider it, you will see a truly amazing story unfold. The Bible is an amazing book!
Jesus, like any good preacher, took opportunity to preach as it was available. Of course He had specific purpose, but in the course of discourse, He would respond to His interactions with spiritual truths. This is no less one of those times. Jesus, was always on a mission. He knew He only had so much time here, so He made the most of it. The fact that He had relationships was only secondary to the plan of God. That is not to imply that He didn’t honor those relationships, but He always kept first things first.
Here we find the Lord preaching to the people. Without interruption the narrative reads, in Luke 8:19-20 NASB, “And His mother and brothers came to Him, and they were unable to get to Him because of the crowd. And it was reported to Him, “Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, wishing to see You.” It is easy to think when you are close to someone that you have certain rights to them, and in fact this is generally true. However, here the Lord was “about His Father’s business.” The crowds were gathered because Jesus was ministering to them.
I believe what we see is Him putting them in their place, at least just a little. They expected that they should get access, yet failed to recognize that their desire came second to His purpose. This is a hard position for family sometimes and we’ve seen it often albeit less as we’ve been in this longer. Family that doesn’t do church has a real hard time with those who do. I know Christians who have family members who claim that they’re in a cult because they’re in church so much! The fact is, none of us are in church like the early church. What would they do if the church had another revival?
Jesus wasn’t saying His people didn’t matter, not in the least. He only implied that there was something greater afoot. This truth remains, family is great but our true family are those who follow God. This is because once we are born again, we are adopted into a new family. There is tendency when we are doing what God has called us to for those who love us, even the saved ones, to resist it because it makes them uncomfortable. We see this many times in the New Testament, but God and His kingdom must come first. His calling is above all else.
Matthew 10:35-38 (NASB)
For I came to SET A MAN AGAINST HIS FATHER, AND A DAUGHTER AGAINST HER MOTHER, AND A DAUGHTER-IN-LAW AGAINST HER MOTHER-IN-LAW; and A MAN’S ENEMIES WILL BE THE MEMBERS OF HIS HOUSEHOLD. “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.