How today’s Gospel should be translated: Mark 3:31-35 Revised Standard Version (RSV) with corrections The True Kindred of Jesus 31 And his mother and his kinfolk came; and standing outside they sent to him and called him. 32 And a crowd was sitting about him; and they said to him, “Your mother and your kinfolk are outside, asking for you.” 33 And he replied, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” 34 And looking around on those who sat about him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 35 Whoever does the will of God is my brother, and sister, and mother.” This text gives a clue that it is not originally written in Greek, but translated into Greek from Aramaic or, more likely, Hebrew. It does not have the paragraph long, logically and elegantly composed sentences. Rather it has short uncomplicated sentences, typical of Hebrew. So it is fitting and reasonable to observe that Aramaic and Hebrew do not have a specific word “brother” as opposed to “cousin”, but rather a word that covers both, which we have given as “kinfolk”. Hebrew can of course communicate our “brother” by specifying that the person was born of the same mother as me, and “cousin” by stating born of my mother’s kinswoman. “Whoever does the will of God is my brother, and sister, and mother.” Whoever does God’s will, whoever “does the truth in charity” is a child of God through Faith. So they are brothers and sisters of the Lord Jesus. But “mother”? Yes. Who ever “does God’s will” is a living branch on the true Vine, Jesus Christ. They are a “good tree” that produces “good fruit”. Thus they bring about that, or contribute to the rebirth of others into the supernatural life of a regenerated child of God. So they are “mothers”. All of us believers can carry out this good work by prayer. We should pray for the conversion and eternal salvation of all “poor sinners” and all “poor unbelievers”.
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