There came then his brothers and his mother, and, standing without, sent to him, calling him.…
Let us look at this subject in one or two of its important bearings upon some of the relative positions of life.
I. AS REGARDS OUR TIES OF NATURAL RELATIONSHIP ONE TO ANOTHER. There is a bond stronger even than the strongest bond of nature. We may not say that Christ, as Divine, had an independence of natural affections. Yet these considerations are not to diminish the duty and affection which are to fasten relations together; no book invests our home relationship with such sweetness and power as the Bible. Yet there is a bond stronger. It is of the very last importance that the ties which fasten us together in blood and kindred should be exceedingly and paramountly strong. What parent does not feel it with his child? What husband does not feel it to his wife? Or what brother and sister do not feel it one to another? See, then, the immense necessity that the spiritual and the natural attachment run in one. Otherwise, there will be a want of sympathy. Otherwise, look at your position, worldly parents, if you have a pious child; or you, worldly children, if you have pious parents; or worldly brothers and sisters, if you have pious ones. With all you love, there is an influence at work in this world — and it may spring up any moment in your family — which may clash with the natural affections and the human obligations. And remember (it is almost awful to say it), remember, it has in it the elements of an infinite separation forever and ever. Do I say, that if your child is religious he will love you less? God forbid. But this I say, that if a worldly parent has a religious child, that child may be, and indeed sometimes must be, placed in the most difficult and perplexing of all possible relationships — a relationship of which the result may be most disastrous to peace. On the other hand, what and if the tide of grace rolls into the current of nature? What and if the omnipotence of a heavenly love wrap round and bind the human attachment? What and if relations are one in the unity of the mystical body of Christ? What and if we have our natural fathers spiritual fathers, and our natural children spiritual children, and our natural brothers and sisters brothers and sisters in Christ? How exceedingly, how eternally happy the bond! Now then, brethren, if it be so, what an argument there is here! Never voluntarily form any connection which is not "in the Lord!" And what an argument is here for continual, earnest prayer, and efforts for the conversion and salvation of those who are nearest and dearest to us. For then are they fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, children indeed when the one Christ in all hearts makes one body and one soul; and the ray from heaven meeting the ray from earth, they blend together, till they glow into a perfect flame of light and love. But there is another relative duty which necessarily grows out of these words.
II. And now, God is gathering such a family around Him, and all the feelings and affections which He has planted in these hearts of ours, even the fondest, ARE ONLY THE DIM TYPES AND SHADOWS OF THAT HIGHER LIFE, when before admiring hosts He shall say, "Behold My mother and My brethren." But who are they who are so very dear to Christ? Now mark everywhere Christ's jealousy for the Father's glory, "Whosoever shall do the will of My Father." That is the road to the heart of Christ — do God's will. The determining question is, What is the will of God? Am I doing it?
(J. Vaughan, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: There came then his brethren and his mother, and, standing without, sent unto him, calling him.