August 7, 2020

Brothers and Sisters,

(Matthew 13:55)  Is not this the carpenter’s son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?  And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things?  And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house.  And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.

(Mark 6:3-4)  Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.  But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.

Here we have two accounts in the gospels of Matthew and Mark concerning Jesus’s brothers and sisters.  Evidently, Jesus had several siblings that he grew up with at home.  Of course, Jesus was the oldest since Mary was a virgin when he was conceived by the Holy Ghost.  However, Mary did not remain a virgin as her and Joseph had other children as we see here in the scripture.  I guess that might be offensive to the Catholic religion since they continue to refer to Jesus’s mother as the virgin Mary.  Mary was a special person and highly favored of God, but she was a sinner just like you and me and without the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross, she would be just as lost as any of the rest of us. 

In both gospel accounts it says that His brothers and sisters were offended in or at him.  This means that they evidently discredited Jesus’ ministry and did not believe him for who he said he was.  Notice what Jesus’s reply was, “A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house”.

Isn’t that usually the case.  How many of us have discovered that the hardest one’s for us to witness to about the Lord are within our own family?   I know it gets discouraging for those we love the most to turn a deaf ear to our pleas for them to come to Christ for salvation.  However, I want to encourage you this morning because if those in Jesus’s own family felt this way toward him then we should consider ourselves in good company when our family won’t listen to us.

What did Jesus do?  He went about the Galilean countryside doing good.  He proved himself to be the Son of God.  He said that he had the power to lay down his life and to take it back up again.  (John 10:17-18)  Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.  No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.  When Jesus said these words, no one (not even those closest to him, his disciples) could believe what he was saying until he proved it be dying on the cross and on the third day getting up victorious over death, hell and the grave.

Once they saw the resurrected Savior, they all believed.  This included Jesus’s brothers and sisters.  Most Bible scholars believe that Mary and Jesus’s siblings were part of the 120 who gathered in the upper room in Jerusalem waiting just as Jesus had told them to for when the Holy Ghost came through like a mighty rushing wind with cloven tongues of fire and rested upon each of them giving them the power to go out and preach and teach in his name.  It is also believed that James and Jude who have epistles in the New Testament were the brothers of Jesus.

So, what I’m trying to say this morning is don’t give up.  Don’t throw in the towel.  Keep on praying for your family and living right in front of them.  There is still hope for our loved ones who are lost.

Let me leave you with one of my favorite scriptures found in the book of Jude.  (Jude 1:22-23)  And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.

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