To most of us our family is most important. We love them no matter what and do our best to make them happy. Jesus was the only Son of God…. but not of his mother, Mary. Besides Jesus, who was the firstborn son, Mary and Joseph had other children: James, Joses, Simon, Judas and at least 2 sisters who are all mentioned in Matthew 13:55 and 56 and Mark 6:3.
Did you ever wonder what life might have been like for Jesus and his siblings? I’m sure they played, laughed, teased and even argued as all brothers and sisters do, but mostly I’m sure they loved each other deeply and it was probably hard for all of them when Jesus left the family and started His ministry.
The first miracle Jesus performed during His ministry was at a wedding…and at the insistence of his mother. Mary was attending a wedding when Jesus and His disciples were called to come. Soon after their arrival, Mary told Him, “They have no wine.”
Jesus looked at her, probably smiled, and said, “Woman, what have I to do with you? My hour has not yet come.”
Ignoring his words, Mary told the disciples, “Whatever He says to you, do it.”
Of course they did as they were told and Jesus turned the water into wine. John 2: 1-9
After this, in verse 12, we are told that Jesus went down to Capernaum along with His mother, His brothers and His disciples. They did not stay there many days, then returned to Galilee. (4: 46).
There may have been other times when Mary accompanied Him on His journeys between Jerusalem and Galilee, but Matthew 12: 46-50 tells us of a time when Jesus was preaching to the people and Mary and His brothers came, wishing to speak to Him. By now, He was well-known and being followed by huge crowds everywhere He went. One of His followers told Jesus that his mother and brothers were there to see Him.
Jesus answered and said, “Who is my mother? And who are my brethren? Stretching forth his hand towards His disciples, He said, “Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother and sister and mother.”
The first few times I read this passage, I thought, why would Jesus ignore Mary and his brothers and say such a thing? Would this not have hurt Mary deeply to be dismissed, it seemed to me, by the Son she loved so much?
Many times families get separated by nothing less than hurtful words such as these. I can almost see Mary pushing her way through the crowd and saying something like: “Well, Mister Jesus, have you become so popular that you no longer have time to speak to your own mother or brothers? Is this how your Father taught you to act?”
Then it dawned on me what Jesus actually was saying: He loved His family deeply and He also loved the disciples. In His eyes we are all the same who choose to follow Him. Each one of us is as precious to Him as any family member, a brother, a sister, or a mother….He loves us all the same and considers us members of His family. With this revelation, I felt better. Though the Bible doesn’t say, I’m sure Mary and His brothers were allowed to see Him….otherwise, I think we would have heard about it.
As I mentioned before, anger and misunderstandings often separate family members. Pride often stands in the way of them getting back together….the same pride that often keeps us from accepting Jesus for who He really is, our Savior. He wants us all to become members of His family and trust Him to heal all the wounds others have inflicted. He is ready to welcome you with open arms. With Him, family ties run deep and no one else can ever love you more than He does. He was willing to lay down His life that we might be saved to live with Him in the Father’s house above. Won’t you become a member of His family today?
Forgiveness brings families back together, no matter if you were the one who left or the one who caused another to leave, I pray you’ll accept Jesus’ invitation and come to Him. He will never leave or forsake you. “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8: 38-39