Near relations of the King of kings


And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he 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 12:49-50 ESV

J.C. Ryle comments:

Mark how He speaks of every one who does the will of His Father in heaven. He says, “he is my brother, and sister, and mother.” What gracious words these are! Who can conceive the depth of our dear Lord’s love towards His relations according to the flesh? It was a pure, unselfish love. It must have been a mighty love, a love that passes man’s understanding. Yet here we see that all His believing people are counted as His family. He loves them, feels for them, cares for them, as members of His family, bone of His bone, and flesh of His flesh.

There is a solemn warning here to all who mock and persecute true Christians on account of their religion. They consider not what they are doing. They are persecuting the near relations of the King of kings. They will find at the last day that they have mocked those whom the Judge of all regards as “His brother, and sister, and mother.”

There is rich encouragement here for all believers. They are far more precious in their Lord’s eyes than they are in their own. Their faith may be feeble, their repentance weak, their strength small. They may be poor and needy in this world. But there is a glorious “whoever” in the last verse of this chapter which ought to cheer them. “Whoever” believes is a near relation of Christ. The elder Brother will provide for him in time and eternity, and never let him be cast away.

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