Markby Robert M. Solomon
The family members of Jesus who wanted to ″take charge of him″ (v. 21) finally arrived on the scene. The house was crowded, so they stood outside and send word that they were waiting. His listeners expected Jesus to pause and answer the summons. After all, one was expected to treat one's mother and brothers with special affection and attention. But Jesus did not seem to be moved, nor did He move. Instead, He asked a puzzling question, ″Who are my mother and my brothers?″ (v. 33).
Why did Jesus respond to His family's presence in this seemingly cold and aloof way? That Jesus loved His mother Mary was clearly expressed by how He obeyed her in childhood (Luke 2:51) and provided for her when He was dying on the cross (John 19:26-27). Mary was probably there as any mother would be, worried for the wellbeing of her son (even though He was now an adult). But Jesus' brothers had responded differently to Him; they did not believe His claims and message (John 7:5). Only after His resurrection would they be convinced of who He really was (Acts 1:14). Instead, they had come to make Him see reason and return home with them. In either case, the appearance of the family was an intrusion and interruption.
Jesus then looked at those around Him and said, ″Whoever does God's will is my brother and sister and mother″ (v. 35). He was redefining His family as comprising those who would do God's will.
When He came down to earth, He said, ″I have come to do your will″ (Hebrews 10:7) and in His ministry He made it clear that, ″My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work″ (John 4:34). Those who believe in Him and follow Him must do likewise. In this they will resemble the Son of God and have the family semblance of the children of God. It is for this reason that those who will enter the kingdom of heaven will be those who had done the will of God (Matthew 7:21).
The scribes who had come to assess Jesus were likely present as well. Jesus extended His invitation to them. He does the same to us today.
Reflect on how Jesus carried out His Father's will in the face of temptations and distractions. What can we learn from His experience? How strong was His resolve to do nothing but His Father's will (John 5:17, 19, 30; 6:38; 8:28-29, 50)?
In what way is doing God's will a personal choice (John 7:17) and a divine enablement (Philippians 2:13)? What do you think is God's will for your life? How are you fulfilling His will in your life?