Who Are My Brothers?

Who Are My Brothers?

“But He answered and said to the one who told Him, ‘Who is My mother and who are My brothers?’ And He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and said, ‘Here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother’” (Matthew 12.48-50).

Understanding the family of Christ is one of the first lessons for new Christians. Jesus teaches this lesson to all of us at the end of Matthew 12 with this rhetorical question: Who is My mother and who are My brothers? Jesus answers His own question by explaining that to be part of the family of Christ means that we share in His mission. Jesus said that He came to earth to do the will of His Father who sent Him (John 6.38), and in Matthew 12 He says His brothers and sisters are those who do the will of His Father in heaven. His question may be simple, but its answer gives us valuable insight to what it means to be part of the family of Christ.

Christ’s Family is not about Lineage

The family of Christ is for everyone, no matter what someone’s family history looks like. Many who were listening and rejecting Jesus’ message in Matthew 12 felt confident in their own salvation because of their lineage. Family heritage is important, but it is not what gives someone salvation. This problem still exists for us today. It is easy to believe we are automatically part of Christ’s family based on our own family heritage. Being a fourth generation Christian or having a last name that lots of people know is not what makes someone part of Christ’s family. Jesus says that doing the will of the Father is what makes us His brothers and sisters. It is not the sharing of the right lineage that makes us part of Christ’s family, we are His brothers and sisters because we share in His same mission.

Christ Makes Us All Equal

The equality that we all share in Christ is a beautiful part of His family. While other religions try to put certain people in higher positions, we understand that in Christ’s family we are all equal as brothers and sisters. Jesus answers His own question without any stipulations or degrees. He simply says, “whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother” (Matthew 12.50). He does not give any explanations of what would make someone a distant cousin or just a friend, instead we are all brothers and sisters. If we do the will of the Father, then we are His family. If we are brothers and sisters with Christ, then we are certainly brothers and sisters with each other.

Christ is Our King and Our Brother

The family of Christ is a royal family. Jesus did not come to earth to reign over an earthly kingdom as many were hoping for. Jesus reigns in heaven as our King, but He came to earth to show He is also our brother. Since we believe Jesus is reigning as our King according to 1 Peter 3.22, the family of Christ should be described as a royal family. If we subject ourselves to Jesus as our King by doing the will of His Father, not only are we His brothers and sisters, we are also part of His royal family.

God’s word tells us, “For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren” (Hebrews 2.11). If the one who sanctifies us is not ashamed of us, then we should be proud to be called His brothers and sisters. We can be one with each other and one with Christ because He died to sanctify us. We are part of this oneness when we share in Christ’s mission: doing the will of the Father.

– William Speer