“But He answered them, ‘My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it.” (Luke 8:21)
A lot of time and energy has been spent by Biblical scholars trying to determine just who the brothers of Jesus were. By the time Jesus was involved in His personal ministry to save the world that particular association had taken a back seat. We don’t know what the dynamics of the fleshly family of Jesus were. It is possible that His mother and His brothers still were not tuned in to who He really was. Certainly, that was true of the twelve men He chose to be His closest disciples.
The statement of Jesus in Luke was not meant to deny any physical relationship to his mother or his brothers. He intended a larger lesson for the disciple’s benefit. In the new kingdom, fleshly relations would not be as important as spiritual ones. If necessary the Christian must choose the family of God over the family of earth. This was a difficult saying to the Jews because family lineage was so important to them and their social standing.
There are two other important considerations in this verse. First, it is so important that a person hear the word of God. In today’s world, we could exchange hear for read or even study. The second part of Jesus’s statement is impossible without the first. If we want to be a part of Jesus’s family it is imperative that we be consumers of the word of God.
Second, once one has studied the word it is equally important that one obey the word. Just hearing is not enough. We used to sing a song, “Trust and Obey”. What this hymn taught is that “there is no other way.” Want to please God, be a brother or mother to Jesus (be in His family), then you must do what the word says you must do.
Task for Today: This is an easy one. Read the Bible with intent. Find the instructions of Jesus and do them. Put the kingdom of God foremost in your daily life.