Faith of Jesus Daily Devotional - Day 51
Matthew:12:46-50 Jesus ' Mother and Brothers
Previous Context: devotion:Matthew:12:38-45 The Sign of Jonah
What is God doing?
"He answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren"?
By now we should know the process: What Jesus hears of the Father that He says. If the Father had said to go over there and and honour your mother with a public word of acknowledgement and a big hug, you know something inspirational for all the mothers of the world, had He not done that it would have been a disobedience. That is what most all of us would have done and the crowd would have favored and adored it. Throw in a loving word about your siblings and kin folk, maybe a humorous story about growing up and they would be eating out of your hand. The Father for some reason is not cuing Jesus yet to do that. Our task today is to consider why.
"He stretched forth his hand toward his disciples"
Remember what hefty subjects we have been considering up to now and recently, spiritual warfare, councils determined to destroy, being sent to the heart of the earth itself three days soul and spirit to pay the price of redemption for all man, entire cities and regions of unrepentant un-understanding onlookers; you get the picture. Think about the attributes of keeping the faith that we've already talked about: moving forward into the battle regardless of what the opposition is throwing up against it, protecting the revealed understanding of the kingdom message from the corruption without and the corruption within, taking His burden upon us instead of our own, to be bankrupt of rebellious and selfish spirit/to mourn/to be meek/hungry for righteousness/pure/peacemaking/longsuffering/etc... The best picture that come to mind is the recent picture of a group of men so consumed in the service of the Lord that they find it necessary to pull small little grains of wheat as they cross a field on Sabbath. That is the picture of dedication and togetherness with Christ.
What is man doing?
"Behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him".
Here is what we know about Jesus' earthly family. Jacob his dad is no longer mentioned, though it is not recorded in scripture the consensuses is that he has already died. When others address the family Mary is now mentioned as the head of household, she is the one whom locals remember and identify Jesus to. At the cross the continuing care for the aging Mary is given by the dying eldest son Jesus to one of His disciples in His stead. There is also mention of His half brothers James, and Joses, Juda, and Simon, plus there a mention of there being sisters still unnamed. The Apostle John records from his experience with the family that the brethren for a good part of the time did not believe in Jesus and that at one point (perhaps at this point?) had tried to council Jesus to come back to Judaea. They are with the disciples in Jerusalem after Jesus' death continuing in prayer and later it is James and Jude that we believe to be influential figures and authors in the faith.
We can sense the type of pressure being placed upon the disciples by the Pharisees and others at each turn of the bend. One can only imagine the pressure being put on the family of Jesus as well. The native home of Jesus is not known as a hospitable place for Jesus as townsfolk jab and snicker; He avails Himself to do very little in the way of miracles there because of their incessant hardness and supposed familiarity. Though it is not documented, it does have to be considered as a driving influence upon the family. It would not be easy to be a brother say of this Jesus of Nazareth. It may be a part of the point that Jesus is trying to make in His treatment of them here.
"One said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee"
One is probably a disciple (possibly Matthew), however it could be a scribe or else the next oldest brother James. Note that Jesus reply is to that one "him", not to "they" meaning family or crowd. The one felt it worthy of Jesus' attention or acknowledgement that His mother and brethren were present and seeking to speak with Him.
What does this passage tell us about the about the commands and faith of Jesus that saints are to keep/guard?
"For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother"
It is not meant as any dishonor or lack of respect, rather it is a matter of spiritual priority given the war like conditions here on the ground. Elsewhere it is said that "unless one hates/leaves "mother/father/etc.. and again "brother shall come against brother" and "they shall put you before the magistrate" and "a man's worst enemy will be those". Priority is yet another hefty subject. It does not mean that we do not love and honor mother/brother/even wife, there is no place for disrespect in a saint, it means that God and our obedience to God comes first; likewise their owed obedience is on a same plane.
Mutual obedience does not separate us one from another, it unites us on a much deeper spiritual level. When that obedience is one sided, one side (typically the disobedient side) takes offense. Anyone that is offended by God and or obedience to God is someone that seriously needs to be spoken with, but if not agreed after talking needs to know the personal priority remains to God despite (in hope of) our love one for another.
Love is always in play. Love for one's family does not take priority over love for God however and love is patient, kind and obedient.
Next: devotion:Matthew:13:1-23 The Parable of the Sower