Jesus was speaking to people who put extremely high value on family ties. Their genealogies were important guarantees that they were part of God’s chosen people. A man’s value came from his ancestors, and a woman’s value came from the sons she bore. Jesus’ response to the woman meant that a person’s obedience to God is more important than his or her place on the family tree. The patient work of consistent obedience is even more important than the honor of bearing a respected son.
As he was speaking, a woman in the crowd called out, “God bless your mother—the womb from which you came, and the breasts that nursed you!” Jesus replied, “But even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice.” (Luke 11:27, 28 NLT)