Now Jesus’ mother and brothers came to see him, but they were not able to get near him because of the crowd. Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to see you.”
He replied, “My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice.”
This is a curious little aside… There is Jesus teaching in parables before a very large crowd that apparently had grown as He taught. At some point in this process His mother and brothers had joined the crowd; they wanted to speak with Him, but the crowd was so large they couldn’t get to where He was. A reasonable earthly expectation would be that Jesus would either pause His teaching and go to them, or that he would ask that they be escorted through the crowd; Jesus did neither of these things.
Instead, He took this opportunity to teach the people.
His reply seems at first to be a little cold toward His family members, but I don’t think it was. Jesus is teaching the assembled crowd what it means to be a citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven, a citizenship which transcends genetics and earthly relationships. As we saw when we studied the book of Hebrews a few months back, when we become followers of Jesus, we receive a new life within us in the Person of the Holy Spirit, and when this happens, we become co-heirs with Jesus to everything; Jesus is the firstborn, and we are His brothers and sisters in God’s household; this is exactly what Jesus was referring to in Luke 8:21.
Luke didn’t tell us who Jesus spoke to later on that day, but had there been a log kept, I would expect to see the names of His mother and brothers; they simply had to wait until the teaching was over, which is hardly unreasonable, even by earthly standards.