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Verses 46-50

Matthew 12:46-50. While he yet talked with the people While he was uttering these solemn truths, and giving these awful warnings, in the audience of the vast multitudes that were gathered around him: behold, his mother and his brethren Or near kinsmen, (namely, the sons of Mary the wife of Cleopas, or Alpheus, his mother’s sister,) stood without, not being able to come near him because of the multitude that sat about him: But he said, Who is my mother? &c. We must not suppose that our Lord meant to put any slight on them, especially on his mother. He only took this opportunity of expressing his affection to his obedient disciples in a peculiarly endearing manner; which could not but be a great comfort to them, and a rich equivalent for all the fatigue and expense which their zeal for him and his heavenly doctrine occasioned. Stretching forth his hand toward his disciples, he said, Behold my mother, &c. “This short speech, related by the evangelists with great simplicity, is, without their seeming to have designed it, one of the finest encomiums imaginable. Could the most elaborate panegyric have done Jesus Christ and his religion half the honour which this divine sentiment hath done them? Whosoever shall do the will of my Father, &c., the same is my brother, and sister, and mother! A saying, this, which will never be forgotten while there are memories in the world to retain it, or tongues to repeat it.” As if he had said, “I regard obedience to God so highly, that I prefer the relation it constitutes, and the union it begets, to the strongest ties of blood. They who do the will of my Father, have a much greater share of my esteem than my kinsmen, as such. I love them with an affection tender and steady, like that which subsists between the nearest relations; nay, I reckon them, and them only, my brethren, my sisters, and my mother. A high commendation this, and not a reflection upon our Lord’s mother, who, without doubt, was among the chief of those who did the will of God. What veneration should live in the hearts of men for Jesus and his religion, which exhibits such perfection in goodness!” Macknight.

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