Matthew 12:46

Jesus' Mother and Brothers

46 While he was still speaking to the people, behold, 1his mother and his 2brothers stood outside, asking to speak to him.[a]

Matthew 12:46 Meaning and Commentary

Matthew 12:46

While he yet talked to the people
Upon these subjects, which so nearly concerned the Scribes and Pharisees, and which could not fail of drawing upon him their resentment and ill will.

Behold his mother and his brethren:
by "his mother" is meant Mary; but who are "his brethren", is not so easy to say: some are of opinion, that Joseph had children by Mary, who are here meant; but it is more generally believed, that these were either the sons of Joseph by a former wife, whose name is said to be Escha; or rather, Mary's sister's sons, the wife of Cleophas, the cousin-germans of Christ, it being usual with the Jews to call such kindred brethren; and so they might be James, Joses, Simon, and Judas: these

stood without:
for Christ was within doors, not in a synagogue, as Piscator thought, but in an house; see ( Matthew 13:1 ) and his mother and brethren stood without doors, either because they could not get in for the throng of the people; or because they would not, it not being proper to make all within acquainted with what they had to say to him:

desiring to speak with him;
not with a pure view to interrupt him in his work, or to divert him from it, lest he should overspend himself; nor from a principle of ambition and vain glory, to show that they were related to him, and that he was at their beck and command; but rather, to observe unto him the danger he exposed himself to, by the freedom he took with the Pharisees in his discourses, and probably to acquaint him with some conspiracies formed against him.

Matthew 12:46 In-Context

44 Then it says, 'I will return to my house from which I came.' And when it comes, it finds the house empty, swept, and put in order.
45 Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there, and the last state of that person is worse than the first. So also will it be with this evil generation."
46 While he was still speaking to the people, behold, his mother and his brothers stood outside, asking to speak to him.
48 But he replied to the man who told him, "Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?"

Cross References 2

  • 1. For ver. 46-50, see Mark 3:31-35; Luke 8:19-21
  • 2. Matthew 13:55; Mark 6:3; John 2:12; John 7:3, 5, 10; Acts 1:14; 1 Corinthians 9:5; Galatians 1:19

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Some manuscripts insert verse 47: Someone told him, "Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, asking to speak to you"