Jesus, Your Mother and Brothers are Outside Desiring to See You

They didn't say, "now."

Luke 8:16-21(ESV)

“No one after lighting a lamp covers it with a jar or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light. For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light. Take care then how you hear, for to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he thinks that he has will be taken away.”

Then his mother and his brothers came to him, but they could not reach him because of the crowd. And he was told, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, desiring to see you.” But he answered them, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it.”

Many Christians are taken aback by that last sentence. They feel that Jesus is rejecting his family, or at least being uncaring. But that reads something into this passage that’s not there.

Jesus just made a one sentence teaching point. There’s nothing here about what He did next. The next passage begins with, “One day he got into a boat …” That’s about another day, so the rest of this day is open.

Jesus didn’t tell his family to go away; He didn’t tell them anything. This message wasn’t for them; it was for the crowd within earshot. If his family had been within earshot they would have communicated with him directly.

It’s reasonable to assume he was happy to see them, and that they got together after he was done preaching. They didn’t ask to interrupt His sermon, or to get a front row seat. They just wanted Him to be informed of their desire to see Him. There’s no reason to think that Jesus was rude to his family.

Meanwhile, the point He is made is important. Jesus is unveiling the doctrine that believers are adopted sons of God. Paul’s epistles will detail this extensively.

But it starts here.


Pastors have it tough – and their families have it tougher. They make sacrifices they never could have dreamed they’d be making.

While Christian weddings often include a message on how Christ is the center of the marriage, for most folks this doesn’t go nuclear the way it does with pastors. Every family plan is tentative – every moment subject to intruding crises.

They need our prayers, but it would be silly to ask that this burden be removed from them. We need them to carry this load for us. Thus, we should be praying for them regularly.

May the Lord keep them close and let them feel His presence. May His face shine upon them and give them peace.


The weekly study guides, which include discussion questions, are available for download here:

https://www.ailbe.org/resources/itemlist/category/91-deep-studies

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

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