Last week, we took a look at the second portion of Matthew 12. I couldn’t quite fit in the last segment of chapter 12, and had intended to simply pick up that section today as we then move on into chapter 13. This transition away from Jesus’ declaration of who He is and His warning against the false teaching of the Pharisees toward His teaching of the masses in Parables is important.
Jesus’ Mother and Brothers
46 While he was still speaking to the people, behold, his mother and his brothers stood outside, asking to speak to him. 48 But he replied to the man who told him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” 49 And stretching out his hand toward 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.”
Now, where Matthew shares this account as a transition point in the focus of His preaching (remember, Matthew is making the case of Jesus fulfilling the Messianic Prophecies). He was preaching of Who He is, and now He will be preaching to the people in Parables (in fulfillment of scripture) while also giving clear lessons for His Apostles. Mark’s account follows a different arch, a different focus in the presentation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There are enough clues in Mark Chapter 3 to indicate this is the same event, but Mark skips over some things and includes some others. The Gospel according to Mark focuses less on making the case for Jesus being the Promised Messiah, and more on demonstrating His Authority as the Son of God. The Gospel of Mark is an action-packed Gospel of power and compassion of God the Son. With that in mind, let us look to Mark chapter 3 where we see the cross-reference to our Matthew text.
13 And he went up on the mountain and called to him those whom he desired, and they came to him. 14 And he appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach15 and have authority to cast out demons. 16 He appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter); 17 James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James (to whom he gave the name Boanerges, that is, Sons of Thunder); 18 Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Zealot, 19 and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.
20 Then he went home, and the crowd gathered again, so that they could not even eat.21 And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for they were saying, “He is out of his mind.”
Blasphemy Against the Holy Spirit
22 And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and “by the prince of demons he casts out the demons.” 23 And he called them to him and said to them in parables, “How can Satan cast out Satan? 24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. 26 And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but is coming to an end. 27 But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. Then indeed he may plunder his house.
28 “Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the children of man, and whatever blasphemies they utter, 29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”— 30 for they were saying, “He has an unclean spirit.”
Jesus’ Mother and Brothers
31 And his mother and his brothers came, and standing outside they sent to him and called him. 32 And a crowd was sitting around him, and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers are outside, seeking you.” 33 And he answered them, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” 34 And looking about at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 35 For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.”
I think it would have been easy for us to come to a skewed and dismissive view of Jesus’ comments regarding his mother and brothers if we only had the account in Matthew. Jesus’ mother and brothers had come to Jesus out of concern for Him, sure, but they sought to bring counsel, even possibly a rebuke, for what He was preaching. Jesus was not out of His mind, He was doing exactly what He was supposed to be doing. Jesus was doing the Will of the Father. Though their earthly concern for Jesus was understandable, and arguably well-intentioned, it was misguided and sinful due to a lack of faith. Jesus would not be counselled against doing the Will of God, nor would He permit being interrupted.
Alistair Begg taught on this passage in Mark a while back (2009) at it has been made available for listening on Truthforlife.org.
He ends this sermon with such a beautiful picture of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, that by His death and Resurrection the Way was made for us to become heirs and joint heirs with Christ Jesus, to be His brothers and sisters by God’s Grace through faith.
Until Next Week…
Next week, we will start looking at some of Jesus’ parables in Chapter 13. Until then, spend time in the Word and in prayer. The summer is upon us, so enjoy this time with your family, and find ways of maintaining a routine of seeking the Word of God on a regular basis. I will do my best to provide supplemental material on this blog site.
Jude 1:24-25 (ESV) 24 Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, 25 to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.
In Christ Jesus,