The Family of God: Matthew 12:46-50
“46) While He was still speaking to the crowds, behold, His mother and brothers were standing outside, seeking to speak to Him. 47) Someone said to Him, “Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside seeking to speak to You.” 48) But Jesus answered the one who was telling Him and said, “Who is My mother and who are My brothers?” 49) And stretching out His hand toward His disciples, He said, “Behold My mother and My brothers! 50) For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother.”” Matthew‬ ‭12‬:‭46‬-‭50‬
Some use this story to assign disrespect to Jesus. I see it very differently. Remember, it was His mother who pushed Him into His first miracle at the wedding in Cana of Galilee. (John 2:1-12) His response at that time to His mother and family was, “4) … Woman, what do I have to do with you? My hour has not yet come?” He put them on notice that He was not to use His identity and power for selfish pursuits.
Things have now changed. In Matthew 12:46-50, I see Him sending a different message to mother and family. He was now saying, “My hour has come.” He was focused on His mission as the Lamb of God. He was preparing them for His coming work on the cross and His subsequent absence from the family.
His role had changed from His duties to His earthy family as the oldest son and provider in the absence of Joseph, to His duties to the family of God as the Saviour of the world. He had fulfilled His duty to His earthly family. He had now taken up a greater duty bestowed on Him by His Heavenly Father. No distraction was going to prevent Him from fully embracing His role as Messiah and His pending death on the cross for the sins of humanity.
We further discover from John 7:3-9 that His family was struggling with His transition into His new role. Verse 5 says; “For not even His brothers were believing in Him.” It was most likely after His death and resurrection that they were converted. His half brothers James and Jude both became dedicated followers and leaders in the early church.
But in Matthew 12:49-50, Jesus was also sending a message to His many followers. He was declaring His affinity to the household of faith. The family of God was beginning to form. He deeply loved His disciples. He was embracing and affirming those whom the Father had given Him. (See John 17:13-26)
I fully embrace and cherish the doctrine of the “Family of God!” Because of the Spirit within me, I cry out “Abba Father.” (See Galatians 4:6) Jesus has welcomed me into His family and He deals with me from the dynamics of Sonship.
This is true of every believer. For the many who come from dysfunctional earthly families, I affirm that the family of God can fill every void and Jesus can heal every hurt. Ask God to surround you with mature, godly and healing believers and friends. As the old chorus says; “I’m so glad I’m a part of the family of God.” People might let you down, but Jesus never will. I praise God for my many brothers and sisters in Christ.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global