Christ's Teaching as to his Mother and Brethren.
(Galilee, Same Day as the Last Lesson.)

^A Matt. XII.46-50; ^B Mark III.31-35; ^C Luke VIII.19-21.

^a 46 While he yet speaking to the multitudes, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without seeking to speak to him. [Jesus was in a house, probably at Capernaum -- Mark iii.19; Matt. xiii.1.] ^c 19 and there came { ^b come} ^c to him his mother and ^b his brethren; ^c and they could not come at him for the crowd. ^a and, standing without, they sent unto him, calling him.32 And the multitude was sitting about him [We learn at Mark iii.21, that they came to lay hold of him because they thought that he was beside himself. It was for this reason that they came in a body, for their numbers would enable them to control him. Jesus had four brethren (Matt. xiii.55). Finding him teaching with the crowd about him, they passed the word in to him that they wished to see him outside. To attempt to lay hold of him in the midst of his disciples would have been rashly inexpedient. The fact that they came with Mary establishes the strong presumption that they were the children of Mary and Joseph, and hence the literal brethren of the Lord. In thus seeking to take Jesus away from his enemies Mary yielded to a natural maternal impulse which even the revelations accorded to her did not quiet. The brethren, too, acted naturally, for they were unbelieving -- John vii.5.] ^a 47 And one said { ^b they say} unto him, ^c 20 And it was told him, ^a Behold, thy mother and thy brethren ^b seek for thee. ^c stand without, desiring to see thee. ^a seeking to speak to thee. [This message was at once an interruption and an interference. It assumed that their business with him was more urgent than his business with the people. It merited our Lord's rebuke, even if it had not behind it the even greater presumption of an attempt to lay hold on him.] 48 But he answered { ^b 33 And he answereth} ^a and said unto him that told him, ^b and saith, { ^c and said unto them,} ^a Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? ^b 34 And looking round on them that sat round about him, ^a he stretched forth his hand towards his disciples, and said, { ^b saith,} ^a Behold, my mother and my brethren! ^c My mother and my brethren are these that hear the word of God and do it. ^b 35 For whosoever shall do the will of God, ^a my Father who in heaven, he { ^b the same} is my brother, and my sister, and mother. [In this answer Jesus shows that he brooks no interference on the score of earthly relationships, and explodes the idea of his subserviency to his mother. To all who call on the "Mother of God," as Mary is blasphemously styled, Jesus answers, as he did to the Jews, "Who is my mother?" Jesus was then in the full course of his ministry as Messiah, and as such he recognized only spiritual relationships. By doing the will of God we become his spiritual children, and thus we become related to Christ. Jesus admits three human
relationships -- "brother, sister, mother" -- but omits the paternal relationship, since he had no Father, save God. It is remarkable that in the only two instances in which Mary figures in the ministry of Jesus prior to his crucifixion, she stands forth reproved by him. This fact not only rebukes those who worship her, but especially corrects the doctrine of her immaculate conception.]

xlix sign seekers and the
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