For the past several days readings, Jesus has been confronting His countrymen. He has been in heated discussions first with the Pharisees and then the Temple scribes. Today’s (actually yesterdays Mk 3:31-35) readings are the most important culmination of this gospels discussion. In that discussion someone says, “Your mother and your brothers and your sisters are outside asking for you.” And Jesus replies ““Who are my mother and my brothers?.’ That is an important question. His mother is of course Mary, but think of the question again. Can not his brothers also include the very Scribes and Pharisees he has been debating with? They are all fellow countrymen of Judea bound by the same covenant. That statement “who are my mother and brothers” can indeed refer to the people born into the same faith tradition as Jesus Christ. They are bound by culture, the covenant , and tradition. They are his people and his tribe yet he denies them, and I think this is important in understanding his confrontations with the scribes and Pharisees. Those confrontations are directed at His family. In this final discussion of the series Jesus makes an emphatic statement as to who his family truly is.“Here are my mother and my brothers.For whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.” With that Jesus dissolves those important relationships of paternity and nationality, the only thing that binds himself to another is that they obey the will of God. Of course that does not state that anyone of his religious or familial heredity is incapable of obeying Gods will; it simply states that He places that obedience to God above all else. With that it is not enough to declare oneself united to Christ through familial relationship, or nationality, or religious tradition; and those are powerful means of forming an individuals identity. Jesus does away with those very concrete measures of loyalty in favor of a singular devotion to God. Why do I think this is so important? It is because it helps clarify some of Jesus arguments to the Scribes and Pharisees. His is not a break from the traditions of those people, but Jesus does not place those ancestral traditions above a loyalty to God. They are not enough to win allegiance with Christ. That allegiance can only be won through the obedience to God.His argument then is not a breaking away from his family, but is a pleading for that family to be loyal to their God.