It was told him by some, … Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, desiring to see you. But he answered and said to them, My mother and my brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it.
Before Jesus’ death and resurrection His own brothers did not believe in Him. They thought He was “out of his mind” and wanted to hinder Him from continuing to preach to the multitudes who followed Him around (cf. Mark 3:21).
Jesus’ mother, too, must have shared this conflict. She went with her sons to the place where Jesus was preaching the Word of God to the crowd. But He would not be drawn away from His ministry and called those around Him who were listening His mother and His brothers. This might seem very hard towards the mother whose heart loved Him dearly. But Jesus’ concern was to keep them from wrong thoughts and ideas that might hinder them on the pathway of faith, on which she had embarked as the “maidservant of the Lord”.
His words were thus not a dismissal but a rebuke. It didn’t exclude them, but included them in the great family of believers, i.e. all who receive the Word of God and follow Him in obedience. Therefore what Jesus had said goes beyond the cross. His death is not the end, but the pre-requisite for the lost to find their way back to God. Mary recognized this. When and how is not recorded, but she was standing by the cross of Jesus. Finally, she was found among the disciples together with the Lord’s brothers (cf. Acts 1:14).
Image: By Enrique Simonet – Museo del Prado, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=47469507