The Kingdom, by Witness Lee

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At the end of chapter twelve there is an incident involving the mother and brothers of the Lord. When He learned that they wanted to speak with Him, He asked, "Who is My mother, and who are My brothers?" (12:48). The Lord went on to say that it is not a matter of natural birth, but of doing the will of God. Those who do the will of God are the Lord’s mother, brothers, and sisters. The will of God mentioned here is not something small; it actually means the kingdom. "Seek first His kingdom...and all these things shall be added to you" (Matt. 6:33). "Your kingdom come; let Your will be done, as in heaven, so on earth" (Matt. 6:10). What is this will? In Matthew 7:21-23 the Lord Jesus referred to this will. He said that the day will come when some will say that they have done miracles in His name, cast out demons in His name, and prophesied in His name. At that time the Lord will admit that they have done all those things, but He will tell them that He never allowed them to do those things and that they are workers of lawlessness (7:23). These people will have no participation in the kingdom of the heavens. Those who will share in the kingdom of the heavens will be those who do the will of the Father. According to the book of Matthew, His will is to have the kingdom.

The Lord Jesus told people that those who do the will of God, who seek the kingdom of God—not those according to natural birth—are His brothers and sisters. The Lord made it very clear to His disciples that His relationships with people have nothing to do with natural birth. This even included His natural mother. Don’t listen to the superstition of Catholicism which says that Mary was the "holy mother." According to Matthew 12, the Lord Jesus repudiated everything that was according to natural birth, even His own mother.

Following this, in chapter thirteen, the Lord gave all the parables, the mysteries of the kingdom. Not one person is qualified by nature and intellectual capacity to understand these parables. The Lord Jesus made the kingdom a mystery, a hidden matter, just like a treasure hidden in a field. When the Lord Jesus found the kingdom, He immediately hid it. Where and when did He hide the kingdom? It was in Matthew 13. After repudiating all natural relationships, He began to hide the kingdom from the natural people. At the end of chapter thirteen He was completely rejected by the natural, religious people. After speaking the seven parables, He returned to His own country and entered the synagogue, the place where religious people discussed the things of God. Although the Lord Jesus renounced everything natural, the people in His own country recognized Him in a natural way. They said, "Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary, and His brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And His sisters, are they not all here with us?" (Matt. 13:55-56). The religious people knew Him in a natural way. In 2 Corinthians 5:16 Paul said that he did not know Christ according to the flesh, that is, according to anything natural. We should not know Him according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. The Pharisees and Judaizers knew Him according to the natural appearance. They knew His carpenter father, His mother, His brothers, and His sisters, but they did not know Him according to the Spirit. Rather, they rejected Him. The Lord had repudiated everything of natural birth and had made the kingdom a hidden mystery. So the religious people totally rejected Him.

(The Kingdom, Chapter 24, by Witness Lee)