Now Jesus’ mother and brothers came to see him, but they were not able to get near him because of the crowd. Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to see you.” He replied, “My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice.” Luke 8:19-21
At first sight, you would think Jesus was showing disrespect for him mum and brothers. But to me it really shows that Jesus was focussed on his mission and calling above all else. Clearly he did love his mum, you see on the Cross, he asks John to look after her. But I think Jesus is making a very strong point here. He is looking for followers who hear God’s word, and put it into practice. Those are the ones who are true spiritual mothers and brothers.
Later on in Luke 14:26 Jesus says, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple.”
Jesus may have chosen the word “hate” to show us that this is how a mother or father will see the actions of a child who chooses the Lord above them. They will see it as disloyal, especially if we try to witness to them. But after all, our unbelieving relatives are part of the world, and Jesus said, “”If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first” (John 15:18).
Jesus is showing us the explanation to His difficult statement—that we must count the cost of discipleship. This is the point of the passage. In order to be a disciple, we must be willing to give up everything for Jesus. Therefore, if our parents will not follow Jesus, or even if they disown us for being Christians, we must still choose Him over them.
Lord, help me keep my priorities right. I choose you over the world, and anything the world offers. May I be like the man with his house built on the solid rock, may I not only hear your words, but put them into practice. In Jesus name, Amen.