What does Mark 3:33 mean?We know Jesus' mother: Mary. His brothers are James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas—not the traitor, this was a very common name in that culture (Matthew 13:55). Mary, James, and Judas (also known as Jude), at least, will become dedicated Christ-followers. But at this point, they only care about mitigating the damage Jesus is causing by His very public, very controversial ministry.
Jesus is clear that following Him will cause serious divisions within families. In Mark 13:12–13 He says, "And brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death. And you will be hated by all for my name's sake. …" In Matthew 10:35–36 Jesus says, "'For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person's enemies will be those of his own household.'"
He adds, "Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me" (Matthew 10:37). Jesus' point is challenging, but crucial. Many Christians must choose between following Jesus and maintaining peace in their family. Jesus understands how this feels (Hebrews 4:15). He teaches how we should honor our parents (Matthew 19:19; Mark 7:9–13). But even He has to choose: between taking the path God sets before Him, or doing what His family wants.
We need to take Jesus' example and keep our eyes on Him, even if it means abandoning our family. He promises that if we do, He will replace what we have lost (Mark 3:34–35; 10:29–30).