Scholars on "The Least of These"
“By far the best interpretation is that Jesus’ ‘brothers’ are his disciples… The fate of the nations will be determined by how they respond to Jesus’ followers, who, ‘missionaries’ or not, are charged with spreading the gospel and do so in the face of hunger, thirst, illness, and imprisonment. Good deeds done to Jesus’ followers, even the least of them, are not only works of compassion and morality but reflect where people stand in relation to the kingdom and to Jesus himself. Jesus identifies himself with the fate of his followers and makes compassion for them equivalent to compassion for himself.” —D. A. Carson, “Matthew” in Matthew & Mark, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2010), 583.
“That the ‘brothers’ are here ‘disciples’ is the majority view in church history and among contemporary New Testament scholars.”—Craig S. Keener, The Gospel of Matthew: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2009), 606.