Wednesday, January 06, 2010
I never really thought much about the family Jesus grew up in. I always assumed he was an only child yet He was not. It was not until I went to Bible school that I realized differently. Jesus, of course, was the first born, the oldest. He had brothers whose names were James, Joseph, Simon and Judas. He also had more than one sister, but I have never found their names mentioned or the number of them. They are mentioned a couple of times that I know of. Once they told him, "Your mother and brothers and sisters are asking for You." His reply was, "Who are my mother and brothers and sisters, but those who do the will of my Father." How did that make them feel to hear that? Were they offended? Can you imagine what it was like being His sibling? In some ways it would REALLY stink. He was such a perfect child that He never got in trouble and was, probably, definitely Mom's favorite because of it. That's seven children or more in the family. That's a pretty large family. I think it is accepted that the book of James was written by His brother. John the Baptist was his cousin too. When you look at what was said about the family you realize , naturally, that they were very devout. Mary was highly favored to become the one to bear the Son of God. She willingly accepted what God wanted to do though it must have been terrifying and extremely difficult. The embarrassment her family encountered as people gossiped can only be imagined. What did she tell them? Elizabeth knew right away that she was pregnant and what she carried was no ordinary baby. I would imagine the other family members might have had some idea, but we are not told. Mary pondered everything in her heart. What were her thoughts? She had no idea what awaited her as His mother. I can only imagine her pain at the cross. Zechariah was a priest who was not unaccustomed to talking with God. He and his wife had such a wonderful surprise late in their lives and had a part to play in all the wonderful happenings. A special touch of God just for them because of years of living a life pleasing to God. What was it like for Jesus and John when they played together? Did He see glimpses of His own future when His cousin was beheaded? And the people of Nazareth had no idea who this child was. All they saw was whose family He was a part of. Would we have been any different if He was the little boy next door in our neighborhood? I doubt it. They were amazed at His teachings and wondered where He got such wisdom. Yet they stumbled over the little boy who played at their houses and with their children. Because of that Jesus could never do any of the miracles there that grace the pages of our Bible.They were robbed because of the box they put Him in. He was so familiar to them that they could not see Him for who He was. They took offense at Him and could not accept His authority. They found no faith within themselves because they could only see Him as "the carpenter's son." Were His playmates amongst them? It must have hurt, yet He never retaliated. You know, it says He was tempted in all manners like we are, yet He did not sin. It changes your whole view of things sometimes when the emotions get involved. To me it makes it a little more real, more than just a story.