By Jim Orcutt, Co-Founder of My Brother's Keeper

These personal reflections on the Monday gospel represent my insight of Christ’s message as viewed through the lens of my life experience. It is my hope that others will be inspired to reflect upon their views as well.
Date: July 21, 2015
July 21, 2015

Gospel MT 12:46-50

While Jesus was speaking to the crowds,
his mother and his brothers appeared outside,
wishing to speak with him.
Someone told him, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside,
asking to speak with you.”
But he said in reply to the one who told him,
“Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?”
And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said,
“Here are my mother and my brothers.
For whoever does the will of my heavenly Father
is my brother, and sister, and mother.”


Someone told him, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, asking to speak with you.”

Jesus responded with what some people take as a rejection of his family. Pointing toward his disciples he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers.”

I don’t take this passage to be an indication that Jesus is rejecting his family members. Rather, I think Jesus is confirming the reality that relationship is based on common goals and beliefs.

Many of us have blood relatives that we seldom see or with whom we have no mutual interests, but still, we love them.

At the same time, we have friends with whom we share mutual interests and goals, i.e., physical fitness, Christian service, Alcoholic’s Anonymous, etc.

Often, we can honestly say of our friends, “I love her like she is my own sister,” or “She is like a mother to me.”

Mutual beliefs, values and goals are what true relationships are built upon.

In the Gospel of John 7:5, we are told, “For even his brothers didn’t believe in him.”

Our own family members, although they love us, may scoff at our dedication to our goals and interests. Our mother, or husband or brother may say, “You’re getting fanatical about working out,” or “You’re letting AA take over your life.” Or even, “Enough with the church thing. You’re becoming a Holy Roller.”

While, at the same time, our friends who share our interests understand and support us.

“For whoever does the will of my heavenly Father is my brother, and sister, and mother.”

Jesus and his followers were on a mutual quest to spread the “Good News” of God’s love for his people. This quest was based on their shared belief that God the Father had sent Jesus to set His people free from the bondage of religious law.

Sharing hardships and rejection together, this group of men and women were a band of brothers and sisters who were family in the truest sense of the word.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed. It is the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead

A suggestion: Ask yourselves this question.
"Am I my brother's keeper?" If the answer is Yes, perhaps you would like to join us, as we go Along the Way in spreading the Love and Hope of Jesus Christ.

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"Whatever you do for the most humble of my people, you do for me."
Matthew 25:40