His mother and His brethren

His mother and His brethren

His Mother and Brethren.

(The Gospel History, Section 53)

While he was yet speaking unto the multitudes, behold, his mother and his brethren came, seeking to speak with him; and they could not come at him for the crowd; and standing without, they sent unto him, calling him. And a multitude was sitting about him: and one said unto him, Behold thy mother and thy brethren stand without seeking to speak to thee. But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? And looking round on them which sat round about him, he stretched forth his hand towards his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! even these which hear the word of God and do it. For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother and sister and mother.

His mother and His brethren

(The Saviour of the World, Vol III Book II Poem XXVI)

A whisper passes slow from mouth to mouth,
From row to row, of them who sat and heard,—
Vast multitude of eager listening folk;
Man charged with message pulls his neighbour’s sleeve;
He twitches man in front and mouths the words
His fellow passed to him; quick frowning brows
Query, impatient, what ’tis all about,—
This interruption, impertinent:
At last a man stands up and cries aloud,—
To stop this murmuring unbearable
To the tense listening crowd—“Thy mother waits,
Thy mother and Thy brethren fain would speak
A word with Thee, they stand without.”


On the far edge of all that breathing throng,
The little family group impatient fret
That He, their very own, should give Himself,
Unheeding all their claims, to public use:
Wise in their generation, they foresee
Trouble will come of popularity
They, jealous, eyed, nor understood at all!
Impotent, they assert a right to stop
The Saviour of the World in that slow work
Wrought line on line for man’s Salvation.

Sure, He who taught men goodness would show forth
All a son’s duty, all a brother’s love?
But there be nearer ties than kith and kin;
The truth that a man lives by, more to him
Than dearest bond of mother, wife or child;
New law of spirit-kindred speaks the Lord,
Relationship within the Kingdom’s bounds
Reaching to none outside, nor mother dear,
Nor wife nor tender child; but, ah, enhanced
A thousandfold, the love that binds these close,—
Included in the Kingdom!

He answered straight,—

Who is My mother? and My brethren, who?
And looking round on them that sat about,
He stretched His hand toward them, His followers,
Disciples of His choice;—Behold, saith He,
My brethren, these, My mother, all My kin!
For see, we be, all ye and I, one kin;
One Father own we,—Him which is in heaven,
And all our part, to do our Father’s will:
That will, came I to manifest to men,
And whoso hearing hastes My Word to obey,—
That man, My brother; woman, sister dear!
The will of God, the one strong law of men;
Obedience, sole tie of tenderness
Shall outlast flesh and blood, proclaim to men
Paternity divine of sons of God.

St. Matthew xii. 46-50.
St. Mark iii. 31-35.
St. Luke viii. 19-21.