Matthew 12:46 - 13:1 46 While he was still speaking to the crowds, his mother and his brothers were standing outside, wanting to speak to him. 47 Someone told him, "Look, your mother and your brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you." 48 But to the one who had told him this, Jesus replied, "Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?" 49 And pointing to his disciples, he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers! 50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother."
1. This passage though begins with Jesus’ mother and brothers, is not really about them. Those who follow Jesus should commit themselves to do the will of the Father and therefore make their priorities clear. Those who denounce their earthly families for Christ’s sake are promised a hundred fold more brothers, sisters, parents and children.
2. Jesus Challenges the conventional patriarchal household based on kinship and centered on the husband/father/master. He redefines the household as centered on Him and committed to God’s will.
3. The new household is not based on birth, ethnicity, or gender; it is open to anyone who commits to Jesus and obeys his teaching of God’s will.
4. The use of brothers and sisters, which specifically includes women, indicates that the term disciple must be understood expansively not exclusively.
5. The inclusion of the word sister shows that there were women among Jesus’ disciples at this stage, even if not among the Twelve; they remain otherwise invisible in the narrative of Jesus’ ministry.
This is a good lesson for those of us who commit themselves for Christ and yet get attached to their own kith and kin to such an extent that we forget Christ and His mission. Let us pray to Christ that we may slowly shed our identity as individual belonging to a particular state, caste, culture and language and begin to put on Christ as our new identity.