His mother and brothers came to him, and could not approach him because of the crowd. And it was told him by some, who said, Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, desiring to see you. But he answered and said to them, My mother and my brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it.
Luke 8, 19 – 21
After Mary had given birth to the Redeemer Jesus Christ, she bore four more sons and several daughters (cf. Matthew 13, 55). When Jesus started His public ministry His brothers at first did not believe in Him as the Son of God (cf. John 7, 5). But later, after His death, resurrection and ascension to heaven, they were counted among His disciples (cf. Acts 1, 14).
Why did they approach Jesus on this occasion? Were they concerned because He was under the critical eyes of the leaders of the people? The Lord made it clear that the Word of God was for Him all important. He would not be hindered from preaching it. Moreover, Jesus emphasized that it produced a relationship that went deeper than any family ties. Whoever hears the Word of God, receives it in his heart and acts accordingly stands in the closest possible relationship with the Son of God.
There was no rejection in these words of the Lord Jesus, though a rebuke for Mary. She had believed in her heart God’s message that she heard about her Son (Luke 1, 38; 2, 19). and at the cross we recognize the loving care Jesus had for His mother (John 19, 25 – 27). But for the multitude and for His brothers the Lord had to clarify one point: hearing and practising God’s Word is decisive for a living relationship with Him.