Sibling rivalry can cause problems in family relationships. Jealousy can set in if one sibling gets more attention or has more talent in an area. Now imagine having Jesus as your older half brother. Jesus had half brothers and sisters who were born after he was. Can you imagine being compared to Jesus?
To understand the first part of John 7 we need to look at Mark 3. In Mark 3:20-21 we read:
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.”
His own family, his mother-Mary, and his half brothers went to take charge of Jesus thinking he was crazy. They did not believe Jesus to be Messiah. Even Mary who had been visited by the angel Gabriel was in on the attempt to “take charge” of Jesus.
Then we read in Mark 3:31-34:
Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, “Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.”
“Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked.
Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”
Jesus did not respond to his mother or half brothers. He corrected the thinking of the people by saying those who do the will of God are his family. I imagine that stung a little for his family.
We don’t have much of a record of Jesus’ half brothers or sisters as far as whether they came to faith other than James. We know Mary did because she was in the upper room with the disciples at Pentecost.
So in John 7:3-4 when his brothers said:
Jesus’ brothers said to him, “Leave Galilee and go to Judea, so that your disciples there may see the works you do. No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world.”
It was entirely disingenuous because we also read in verse 5:
For even his own brothers did not believe in him.
Jesus ended up going after his half brothers did without telling them.
This is an encouraging passage for those of us with family problems. Jesus understands dealing with family problems. His own half brothers did not believe in him, mocked him in this passage, tried to take control of him in Mark chapter 3.
Jesus understands and provides relationships and friendships with fellow believers. They can become our chosen family. I shared about chosen family a few months ago- Chosen Family.
If you have family problems, Jesus understands.
Thank you for reading. God Bless.