Health & Medical Self-Improvement

Jesus and His Brothers - A Sibling Rivalry Like No Other

Do you have children? How do they get along? Pretty good? C'mon, be honest.
Sometimes they fight like cats and dogs, don't they? Remember when you were a kid and how you used to "get along" so well with your brothers or sisters? Did you know that Jesus had brothers and sisters? Technically they would be half-brothers and half-sisters -- same mother but not the same father, since Jesus did not have a biological father.
After preaching in his hometown of Nazareth, the people were shocked at how well their local boy had done: "What's this wisdom that has been given him, that he even does miracles! Isn't this the carpenter? Isn't this Mary's son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren't his sisters here with us" (Mark 6:2-3) So Jesus had four brothers.
I wonder how they got along? How would you have gotten along with a big brother who was...
ah...
perfect? Never made a mistake, never did anything wrong (ever), was always nice to everybody, always said just the right thing at just the right time.
I mean, think about it.
Don't people like that just make you sick? Now imagine that your older brother is not only perfect, but after living quietly at home for thirty years, he suddenly leaves home and starts traveling the countryside, preaching and teaching, doing hundreds of miracles like turning water into wine, raising the dead, making the blind to see, the deaf to hear, the mute to speak, and...
to top it off, he claims to be God.
What would you think about your brother? Here's what Jesus' siblings thought about him: "Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat.
When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, 'He is out of his mind.
'" (Mark 3:20-21) So Jesus' brothers thought he was nuts.
Not only did they think Jesus was crazy, they also rejected his claim to be God: "For even his own brothers did not believe in him.
" (John 7:5) Imagine that.
His own brothers did not accept his claim to deity.
They just considered him mentally unbalanced.
Now let's fast forward a couple years...
Jesus finishes his three-year ministry, is crucified, resurrected, and ascends into heaven.
After all that teaching, preaching and healing, what does he have to show for it? Here's the result of his work: about 120 people have committed themselves to his message and are faithfully waiting and praying in Jerusalem for directions on what to do next.
And who is among those early followers of Christ? Well, the eleven Apostles were there (no more Judas).
Anyone else? Yes.
"They all joined together in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.
" (Acts 1:14) And his brothers...
his biological brothers were there with the apostles and Mary! What happened? Just a few months ago they were calling him a lunatic.
Now they are charter members of the First Church of Jerusalem.
Whoa! Is this significant or what? What happened to these guys? Why the dramatic turn-around? Well, I think you can fill in the blanks.
They finally got it.
They finally figured it out and accepted their biological brother as the only God/Man, the very Son of God, the Creator of the universe and Savior of the world.
They finally believed in Jesus and accepted his claims.
Many of us do not embrace Jesus as Savior and Lord upon first hearing of him.
I spent most of my adult life ignoring him, even though I knew the Bible and understood the gospel at an intellectual level.
Finally, by the grace of God, I submitted to him and came to believe he is who he claimed to be.
What about you? Perhaps you grew up in a Christian environment but didn't really buy into it.
You know the facts of Christianity but your heart remains aloof, even hard.
May the story of Jesus' siblings encourage you to take another look at the One who claimed to be the bread of life, the light of the world, and the eternally existent Creator.
Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6).
Some read these words and wonder, "How could anyone be so narrow minded?".
But if this statement is true (as many of us believe it is), then is it not the key that unlocks the meaning of life and the door to heaven?

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