And the multitude cometh together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread. And when His friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on Him: for they said, He is beside Himself There came then His brethren and his mother, and, standing without, sent unto him, calling him. And the multitude sat about Him, and they said unto Him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee. And He answered them, saying, who is my mother, or my brethren? And He looked round about on them which sat about Him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother and my sister and mother (Mark, 3: 20-21 & 31-35; Matthew, 12: 46-50).
Some of the words used by Jesus appear to be quite extraordinary when compared with His goodness, kindness and unalterable benevolence. Those who are incredulous never cease to find an argument in this fact, alleging that He contradicted Himself. However, it is undeniable that His doctrine has as its basic principle, its very foundation stone, the laws of charity and love. Well then, is it possible that He would destroy on the one side what He had built on the other? Therefore we arrive at the following precise conclusion: that if certain propositions made by Jesus are in contradiction to this basic principle, then these words attributed to Him have either been wrongly reproduced, wrongly understood, or they were never pronounced by Him at all.
Understandably it causes great amazement that in this passage Jesus showed so much indifference towards His relatives, and in a way repudiated even His mother. With regard to His brothers, we know they did not greatly esteem Him. Being spirits of little evolution, they did not understand His mission; they thought Him to be eccentric in His ways and His teaching did not even touch them, to the extent that not one of them became His disciple. It was said that they shared, at least up to a point, the same preconceptions as His enemies. In short, it is a known fact that whenever He appeared in the family He was received more as a stranger than as a brother. John tells us quite clearly that they did not believe in Him. (See John 7: 5.)
Concerning His mother, no one dare deny the tenderness and affection He devoted to her. However, it is equally our obligation to agree that she did not fully understand her Son’s mission, since it was noticed that she never followed His teachings, nor did she testify for Him as did John the Baptist. Her predominating feature was maternal solicitude. Nevertheless, to suppose that He denied His mother is not to know His character. Such an idea could not have found refuge in someone who said: Honour thy father and thy mother. Then it is necessary to find another meaning to His words, which were almost always enveloped in a mist of allegoric form.
Never losing an opportunity to teach, He therefore takes advantage of the moment and the arrival of His family in order clearly to show the difference which exists between bodily and spiritual kinship.
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