In Mark 3, Jesus’ mother and brothers came to see him, but they could not reach him due to the crowd that was all around. Someone informed Jesus that his mother and brothers were there, expecting him to go and greet his family members, but Jesus made a surprising statement. He declared that his mother and brothers were actually anyone who practiced the will of God. Jesus maintained that all those who follow him had the same relationship to him as did his blood relatives. In effect, Jesus maintained a heavenly view of his followers rather than giving priority to his earthly family relationships. In this way, Jesus provides the basis for peace within his kingdom, because their can exist no family rivalries or jealousies, because all have an equal status with Jesus. On earth we see all kinds of examples of rivalries between families, tribes and clans. In some cases it has led to wars. For example the rulers of the British Empire, Germany and Russia in World War I were all cousins, all being grandchildren of Queen Victoria, yet their national and family rivalries plunged the world into war, that was not concluded until the end of World War II. Following Jesus and recognizing his relationship with all of us negates such a possibility, because we have no need to compete for Jesus’ attention.
In John, we see Jesus again illustrating his heavenly view of his family members. Twice when addressing Mary his mother, Jesus called her “woman”, rather than “mother”. What is interesting, is that Jesus addressed two other women in the same exact way! He addressed the Samaritan woman with the same title and again the woman caught in adultery. This does not mean that Jesus loved Mary, his mother, any less, but that he loves all of us who follow him as his immediate family members! That relationship with Jesus and each other provides us to live in peace with one another and celebrate one another, because the foundation for rivalry has been removed.