There are many ways we identify with other human beings as "family." Not all of them have to do with blood relations. Naturally, we bring this tendency into the Church. We gather in "families" of people "like me." In the passage, we are reminded that the family of Jesus is defined according to himself. Jesus' family is "everyone who does the will of My Father in heaven."
When the religious experts slander Jesus, Jesus turns the situation into an object lesson. The Pharisees define for us what Jesus means when he says God will judge us for every "careless word" we speak. This helps disciples test ourselves to make sure we continue to make progress in growing to be like Jesus.
Living the Christian life requires knowing the word of God well. In two encounters with some Bible experts, Jesus teaches us that there is something more to knowing God's word than just mastering the details of the words in the Bible. In the course of these encounters, Matthew shows us that Jesus is the One who has come to establish justice on the earth. His way is not through coercive force, but through the gentle and beautiful heart of God.
Jesus's invitation to discipleship is to let him rule our lives as our Lord and Teacher. He promises that if we do, he will save us. Further, the lessons he teaches, the way he guides us to live in righteousness brings rest to our souls rather than weariness.
Jesus warns the twelve apostles about the persecution they will suffer because of Jesus' name. We can relate to some extent to the pressure they felt to compromise or deny faith in Jesus' name. In this passage, Jesus teaches four habits to help us be effective as his disciples. Following this way we can overcome the pressures of persecution.
Mercy is at the heart of everything Jesus did. This was on display when Jesus called Matthew, the tax collector, to be a disciple. Many other sinners came to Jesus, too, and found his mercy.
Wise students learn key lessons from the way the winds and the sea obey Jesus one stormy day. Matthew's framing of this story with questions of discipleship points the way.
The path of discipleship in Jesus includes iitating his ministry of healing by bringing love's touch to people and situations needing to be set right.
Christians share Jesus' work of redeeming by human touch and restoring by cleansing word.