In The Family – Luke 8.19-21

Now Jesus’ mother and his brothers came to him, but they could not get near him because of the crowd. So he was told, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, wanting to see you.” But he replied to them, 

“My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it.”


After writing about how those who receive His teaching and put it into practice are rightly relating to Jesus (vv.1-18) here Luke throws Jesus’ literal family into the mix. Many hold to the perpetual virginity of Mary, simply, that she couldn’t possibly have had any more children after Jesus (Epiphanius, in the 4th century, argued that Mary was a perpetual virgin and had no offspring other than Jesus. Others argued that these brothers were really cousins. Nothing in the text suggests any of this, cf. John 7.3). 

Jesus is told that His mother and his brothers were here to see Him and responds by saying 

“My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it.”

Yes, we know that salvation comes by believing. We know that it is by grace alone that we are saved through faith, and that faith comes from what is heard (Ephesians 2.8-9, Romans 10.17). However, we’re not saved to simply sit. We’re not saved by grace alone through faith alone by hearing the Word of God just to sit around and wait for the Day of the Lord (2 Thessalonians 3.11, 13).

Jesus didn’t say that His family didn’t matter to Him, rather, He said that those who hear the word of God and do it, those who put into practice what He was teaching are also rightly relating to Him and considered family. 

For you and for me, let’s not miss the “and do it” part of Jesus’ response. To be considered by the Lord to be part of His family is surely one of the main goals of our faith, one of the main things we hope that our faith will bring us. Today then, hear His voice, read His Word, and do it (Hebrews 3.15, Luke 6.47-49, James 1.22-25).

Published by James Travis

Pastor of Saar Fellowship in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Married to Robyn and Dad to our two boys.

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