For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.Matthew 12:50
For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.Mark 3:35
And he answered and said unto them, My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it.Luke 8:21
The last phrase of Jesus’ teaching in each of the gospel accounts defines those whom Jesus calls His relatives. They are the ones who not only hear the word of God, but they do it.
I see at least three types of devotion here:
There are those that say they “know” Jesus is their Savior. They confessed once but their regular devotion to reading the word of God and attending the public preached word is lacking or completely non-existent. What would Jesus call this person?
Another group comes to church because that is what is expected. For several hundred years it was the cultural norm for people to attend church every Sunday. If you didn’t, then society would judge you. This resulted in a large group of people that went to church and either slept through the sermon or forgot everything they heard once they left the building. They did not apply the word. What would Jesus call this kind of person?
On a sad side-note, America is so anti-Christian now that we are mocked because we attend church regularly rather than missing church!
The final group contains people who have felt the mercy of God in their lives. In response, they read His word regularly. They attend and are actively involved in church, and not just on Sunday morning. And finally, they apply the word of God and seek to be a better and more loving person. What would Jesus call this person?
Let us understand that we do not become children of God by confession, obedience, or any other thing we do. Eternal salvation is by the grace of God plus nothing. What this scripture is teaching is not about our relationship to God but our fellowship with Him.
Those who hear the gospel and actively try to follow Jesus, He calls them brethren. This is just like when Abraham believed God, he was called a friend of God.