Luke 8:21 And he answered and said unto them, My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it.
Saints obey the Scriptures (The New Topical Textbook, subtopic under the main topic, “The Scriptures,” page 240).
This was, to my mind, undoubtedly one of the most trying times in the life of Mary, the mother of our Lord Jesus Christ. The story behind what is happening in Luke 8:21 is not much spoken of, or preached about, that I have ever heard.
The Pharisees were engaged in a plot to kill Jesus. At this point they engaged His own family members against Him. This is made more clear in Mark chapter 3, which is a parallel account. Jesus was protected providentially both by the crowds that surrounded Him, making Him inaccessible to Mary and his brothers (recall the comment in John that “neither did his brethren believe in him,” John 7:5), and by the fact he was in a house so full of people no one could come in from outside to get at him.
Mary and her children and family friends had become persuaded that Jesus was “beside himself” (Mark 3:21). Members of the audience informed Jesus that His mother and brothers were outside the house trying to communicate to Him. Jesus responded with the words of the above text in Luke 8:21, “My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it.” Mark tells us in Mark 3:35 that Jesus said, “For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.”
Surely at the point when Jesus said this, Mary and the brothers of Jesus were not doing the will of God, and were not about the business of hearing and doing the word of God. Those who make much of Mary as the mother of God (really a misnomer because she was the mother of our Lord’s humanity, not divinity!) need to realize that most clearly here she was not sinless–she had, along with her sons, the half-brothers of Jesus, been deceived by the snare of Satan into attempting to betray Jesus by their attempt to turn Him over to the Pharisees (Mark 3:2, 6, 21, 31). Let this account be a lesson. Satan is very clever in his conniving efforts to lead us astray or to ensnare us. The way to keep on track in faithfulness to God is to hear God’s Word as it is now recorded for us in the Bible, and to obey God’s Word.
For those who desire to DIG DEEPER into this subject:
(1) Consult the cross references given in Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible on page 1123 for Luke 8:21.
(2) Consult the cross references given in The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge on page 1145 or in Logos 5 Bible software for Luke 8:21.
(3) Lacking access to those two resources, consult the cross references for this passage as I have developed them as given below:
Luke 8:21. answered and said. Dt 1:41. My mother. Lk 11:27, 28. *Mt 12:49, 50. 25:40, 45. 28:10. Mk 3:5. +*Jn 15:14, 15. 20:17. *2 Cor 5:16. 6:18. *He 2:11-13. which hear. ver. Lk 8:15. *Lk 11:28. *Mt 7:21-26. 17:5. Jn 6:28, 29. 13:17. Ro 10:17. +James 1:22. 1 J 2:29. *1 J 3:22, 23. 3 J 1:11. the word of God. ver. Lk 8:11. +Lk 5:1. +*1 Th 2:13. and do it. T#1093. +*Lk 11:28. Ge 7:5. Ps 119:67. %Ezk 33:31. +*Mt 5:19. +*Mt 7:21. 12:50. *Jn 14:21. +*Jn 15:14. 17:6. Ro 2:13. *Ga 5:6. **Phil 4:8, 9. +*James 1:22, 25.