Harmony of the Gospels

 Harmony of the Gospels

-AD 28-
(26) His Mother and Brothers Seek an Audience
Matthew 12:46-50, Mark 3:31-35, Luke 8:19-21


-Matthew- Matt 12:46-50 (KJV)

46 While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him.
47 Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee.
48 But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren?
49 And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!
50 For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.

Jesus addressed the crowd, on this day, regarding subjects which drew the resentment of the Scribes and Pharisees.  And while He was speaking, His mother, Mary, and His brothers arrived at the house where He was at.  They stood outside, either because they could not get in for the crowd or because they didn’t want anyone to hear what they had to say to Him.  It is believed that their intention was to see what kind of danger He was exposing Himself to, due to the remarks He had made about the Scribes and Pharisees, and probably to inform Him of some conspiracies that had been formed against Him.

Someone in the crowd or one of His disciples interrupted Him and told Him that His mother and brothers wished to speak with him.

From Jesus' reply it appears that He was displeased with the man or men for interrupting Him and His work, for He said, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren?  He let them know that He preferred the business of His Heavenly Father to any business that His family could have with Him; and then He took the opportunity to point out who were His family in a spiritual sense.

And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, that is , not only His disciples, but all those present who truly believed in Him.  And by the motion of His hand, he pointed out to the crowd that sat around Him, those who were His spiritual relations. 

And said, Behold my mother and my brethren!  What He meant was that those who were the children of God, by adoption and through grace were His brethren; and were as dear to Him as His Mother and brothers and His sisters.  When He stretched forth His hand, He may have pointed to his disciples and to some of the women who ministered to him from their personal possessions; women such as Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Susanna and others who believed in Him and followed Him.

And then He said, For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.  He was not saying that these were perfectly obedient to the will of God, because no mere man could have such a relation to Christ.  But these were obedient to the will of God as far as their faith was revealed in accepting the Gospel; which is to believe in Christ, and have everlasting life.  That’s what Jesus said in John 6:40,  And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.  This is the will of the Father.  That is the good news from heaven to sinners on earth.  Friends, you are as dear to Christ as any of those who were related to Him in the flesh.  These words by our Savior convey some idea of the relationship, nearness and communion between Christ and His people. 

-Mark- Mark 3:31-35 (KJV)

31 There came then his brethren and his mother, and, standing without, sent unto him, calling him.
32 And the multitude sat about him, and they said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee.
33 And he answered them, saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren?
34 And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!
35 For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.

Jesus family displayed their disrespect for Him when they interrupted His preaching.  They not only stood outside, having no desire to come in and hear Him, but they sent a messenger to Him asking Him to come out to them.

They were afraid that He would kill Himself by working too hard or that the Scribes and Pharisees would plot to kill Him.  But Jesus knew how far His strength would go, and He preferred the salvation of souls before His own life.

On this occasion, Jesus showed the great respect that He had for His spiritual kindred.  However, now as at other times, He appears to neglect His mother, which seams purposely designed to prevent the extravagant respect that men would pay her in the future.  Our respect for the Virgin Mary, or Christ’s mother, should be guided by how Christ showed His respect.  He loved her; but not more than all the others who believed in Him and followed Him.  We should consider it to be a superlative honor to be esteemed, loved, cared for and looked upon by Christ; to be the same to Him as a mother, brother or sister. 

This is a good reason why we should choose to live among and befriend those who are God’s people.  It is good for us to be close to those who are allied to Christ, and to have fellowship with those who have fellowship with Christ. 


-Luke-Luke 8:19-21 (KJV)

19 Then came to him his mother and his brethren, and could not come at him for the press.
20 And it was told him by certain which said, Thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to see thee.
21 And he answered and said unto them, My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it.

At first, the brothers of Jesus, who were the younger sons of Mary and Joseph (and there were also sisters), were receptive to the work of Jesus, as seen in John 2:12, After this he went down to Capernaum, he, and his mother, and his brethren, and his disciples: and they continued there not many days.  At this time they traveled with them, and listened to Him, and Jesus cared for them.   Later the brothers developed unbelief in His claims, for we read in John 7:5, For neither did his brethren believe in him.  Mary was very concerned for Him, because of the charges being made against Him by the religious leaders.  For instance, they claimed that He did His miracles by the power of Satan.  She had come at this time, because of her deep concern and because she wanted to help Him.

Jesus told the people that were present at this occasion, that “the mother to me and the brothers to me” are those who receive my words and believe.  No one is a child of God, because of who their parents are.  The apostle John said in John 1:12-13, But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.  At best, family ties are temporary; spiritual ties are eternal.  

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