“Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked.
Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”Mark 13:33-35 NIV
Some look at this passage and see Jesus disowning his birth family. But I don’t believe that is what Jesus is doing. After all, he later made provision for his mother while he hung on the cross (John 19:25-27). And he made an appearance to at least one of his brothers after his resurrection (1 Cor. 15:7). Instead, I believe Jesus is taking advantage of the opportunity to talk about a more significant relationship than the temporary ones we have here.
Who are the members of Jesus’ heavenly family? Those who do the will of God. These are his family members. Your position in this life doesn’t really matter in the long run. My family, occupation, education, social standing, and citizenship may be a big deal in this life. But they offer me no advantage in the life to come. But what will count is being a child of God.
What is God’s will? What is required of me to be a child of God? God’s will is that I respond to his gracious offer of salvation, and be saved (John 3:16). And then that I surrender my life to him (Rom. 12:1-2). I cannot purchase or earn my position in the family of God. What I have to do is to submit and surrender. And for those who do, Jesus is proud to call them his brothers and sisters (Heb. 2:11).