What does Matthew 12:49 mean?
ESV: And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers!
NIV: Pointing to his disciples, he said, 'Here are my mother and my brothers.
NASB: And extending His hand toward His disciples, He said, 'Behold: My mother and My brothers!
CSB: Stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers!
NLT: Then he pointed to his disciples and said, 'Look, these are my mother and brothers.
KJV: And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!
NKJV: And He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and said, “Here are My mother and My brothers!
Verse Commentary:
Jesus' mother Mary and his brothers, born to Mary and Joseph after His birth, are waiting outside of a very crowded house. Jesus is in the house teaching. He has apparently been in there a long time without being able to eat. His family has come to "take charge" of Him because they believe Jesus is out of His mind (Mark 3:20–21).

The news brings a surprising response from Jesus. He asks the crowd who His mother and brothers truly are. Now He points to His disciples and says, "Here are my mother and brothers."

Christ is not permanently rejecting His mother or His brothers. He will continue to be in relationship with them, and at least some will eventually come to faith in Him as the Messiah (Acts 1:14). Likewise, He does not mean one of the Twelve (Matthew 10:1–4) is His mother. Jesus brings clarity to His point in the following verse (Matthew 12:50). For now, though, He is expanding the idea of what it means to be a family for those who follow Him.
Verse Context:
Matthew 12:46–50 finds Jesus teaching inside a house. He receives a message that His mother Mary and His brothers are waiting outside to talk to Him. In response, Jesus points to His disciples. He declares that anyone who does the will of His Father in heaven is His brother and sister and mother, establishing the idea that those who follow Christ and do God's will are meant to be connected like family.
Chapter Summary:
Matthew 12 features confrontations between the Pharisees and Jesus over several issues. Among these are working on the Sabbath, healing on the Sabbath, and the source of His power to cast out demons. Jesus counters each argument and rebukes the Pharisees sharply for their obstinate unbelief. He even notes that those who maliciously ascribe His miracles to demons are unforgivable. He warns them, and the rest of their current generation, about the judgment to come. Jesus calls the Pharisees a brood of vipers and rejects their demand for another miracle. All they'll be promised is the sign of Jonah. The Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth for three days. Jesus also states that all who do His Father's will are His family.
Chapter Context:
Matthew 11 depicted Jesus preaching and teaching after sending out His chosen disciples in pairs in chapter 10. Chapter 12 immediately picks up with more confrontation with the Pharisees. Jesus responds to those criticisms and rebukes their evil hearts as the source of their evil words. In the following chapter, Matthew will shift His focus onto Jesus' parables.
Book Summary:
The Gospel of Matthew clearly shows the influence of its writer's background, and his effort to reach a specific audience. Matthew was one of Jesus' twelve disciples, a Jewish man, and a former tax collector. This profession would have required literacy, and Matthew may have transcribed some of Jesus' words as they were spoken. This book is filled with references to the Old Testament, demonstrating to Israel that Jesus is the Promised One. Matthew also includes many references to coins, likely due to his former profession. Matthew records extensive accounts of Jesus' teaching, more than the other three Gospels.
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