Fundamentals of the Christian Faith in the Light of the Gospels
by Maulana Sadr-ud-Din
The Ways of God’s Will and Pleasure: Superiority of Spiritual over Blood Relationship
Said Jesus, if his blood-relations believed not in him, they were not his relatives, and that his relatives were those who acted according to the will of the Most High God. It is stated in the Gospel according to Mark (3:31–35):
“There came then his brethren and his mother, and, standing without, sent unto him, calling him. And the multitude sat about him, and they said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy without seek for thee. And he answered them, saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren? And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.”
It appears from this statement of Jesus that his mother, brothers and sisters believed not in his teachings, and it was for this reason that he neither stood up to receive them, nor considered their relationship to be a point of honour and pride for himself. On the other hand, he gave preference over them to those others who accepted and acknowledged his teachings.1 Jesus himself obeyed the commandments of the Most High God, and he required of his followers also to do the same. According to Jesus, those who do the will of God are his relations and are placed above those who claim blood relationship with him.
- Jesus’ indifferent attitude towards his kith and kin was not without reason. They were opposed to his teachings, which they called and condemned as a madman’s raving. Mark has this sad story on record in the following words (3:20–21): “And the multitude cometh together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread. And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself.” ↩