2 Kings 10-12
John 1:29-51

“For even His own brothers did not believe in Him.” 
—John 7:5

The Bible tells us very little about Jesus’s childhood or family life, but what it does tell us suggests that Jesus’s relationship with His family was strained. The only childhood event recorded is when Jesus was 12 years old, and He remained in Jerusalem after a Passover celebration. No one in the family realized He was missing until a day into their journey home. When they returned to the city to look for Him, they found Him talking with the teachers of the law. His parents questioned why He had stayed behind, to which the young Jesus answered, “Why were you searching for Me? Didn’t you know I had to be in My Father’s house?” (Luke 2:49).

If this was any indication of what Jesus was like as a child, His half-brothers and sisters likely came to resent Him. It could not have been easy growing up with a sibling who exhibited moral excellence in every way. Yet, for a Jewish family, even this would have been easier to accept than His claims to be the Messiah and the Son of God. In fact, when Jesus first preached at the age of 30 in Nazareth, their hometown, His family “...went to take charge of Him, for they said, ‘He is out of His mind’” (Mark 3:21). During the course of Jesus’s ministry, He and His siblings grew further apart, as only Mary was present when He was crucified. The rest simply could not believe that Jesus was who He said He was.

While Scripture does not reveal whether all of Jesus’s siblings came to faith, the Bible does record at least two of His brothers—Jude and James—eventually coming to believe in Him. Although we do not know the circumstances behind Jude’s conversion, he did write the book of Jude. In 1 Corinthians 15:7, Paul tells us that Jesus appeared directly to James, then to all the apostles, after His resurrection; Jesus deliberately sought out this younger brother whom He grew up with, played with and had driven to embarrassment, ultimately convincing James that He truly is the Son of God.

Some of us may worry about family members who are not yet believers. We have sought to live godly lives that demonstrate Christ-like qualities and share the gospel with them, but they simply do not believe in Jesus. If that is the case, do not lose heart. Do not stop praying for them or revealing Christ to them.

Jesus was the greatest example of a Man living in dependence on God, the most Christ-like person ever because He was Christ, and even His own siblings missed it! But if Jude and James’s conversions teach us anything, it is that God can reach into our loved one’s hearts and draw them to Himself, no matter how resistant they may seem right now.

Lord Jesus, I am reminded that You understand my family struggles, as You have experienced them too. I will continue to pray for the work of Your Spirit in bringing my loved ones into Your saving grace. Thank You, Lord.

Older Post Newer Post