Did Jesus Call the Disciples His Brothers?


The relationship between Jesus and his disciples has been a topic of debate among Christians for centuries. One question that has arisen is whether or not Jesus referred to his disciples as his brothers.

Biblical Evidence

The term “brother” is used frequently throughout the Bible, often referring to a biological relative. However, in the case of Jesus and his disciples, it is not entirely clear whether he was using the term in this literal sense or as a metaphorical expression of their spiritual bond.

One example of Jesus referring to his disciples as brothers can be found in Matthew 12:48-50, where he says, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers” Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

Another instance can be found in John 20:17 when Jesus tells Mary Magdalene after his resurrection, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”


The question remains: what did Jesus mean by calling his disciples his brothers Some argue that he was using the term literally since James and John were actually related to him (Mark 3:17). However, others suggest that it was more likely a metaphorical reference to their shared spiritual identity.

In either case, it is clear that Jesus had a deep connection with his followers. He saw them as more than just acquaintances or students but rather as family members bonded by their commitment to God.


In conclusion, while the exact meaning of Jesus referring to his disciples as brothers may be subject to interpretation, what is clear is the depth of their relationship and the importance of their shared faith. Whether biological siblings or spiritual family, the bond they shared was powerful and enduring.