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John 7:1-9, The Unbelief of Jesus’ Brothers

Saturday, February 17

Jesus had . . . brothers?

Narrative Lectionary Daily Devotions written by Kace Leetch from Clergy Stuff.

Jesus had brothers. We only know that they "did not believe in him."

Jesus had brothers. We only know that they "did not believe in him."

Today's reading from the Narrative Lectionary is a nice segue from what we often read in the RCL. It's not often that we confront this text. For one, Jesus had brothers! That means that Joseph and Mary had other kids. While most Protestants don't have much problem with this fact, there are Roman Catholics who work mental gymnastics around the fact that Mary did, indeed, engage in sexual intercourse and bear other children.

Beyond this point, I suppose another fact worth raising is that Jesus' brothers weren't convinced that Jesus was the promised Messiah. Who knows . . . maybe they thought he was crazy. What's interesting to me is that, as a writer of both non-fiction and fiction, I'm intrigued with the idea of time travel. I don't know about you, but one of the first time periods I'd travel to would be first-century Palestine. I would like to meet Jesus, the historical figure.

The irony in all of this is that I really do believe that we can each "meet Jesus" in the breaking of the bread and the proclamation of his word. So, why would I need a time machine? To somehow verify that Jesus was real? The point I'm making is that Jesus IS real, regardless of his historical persona. And, even with that, his own brothers weren't willing to see him for who he really was.

Narrative Lectionary Text: John 7:1-9

After this Jesus went about in Galilee. He did not wish to go about in Judea because the Jews were looking for an opportunity to kill him. Now the Jewish festival of Booths was near. So his brothers said to him, ‘Leave here and go to Judea so that your disciples also may see the works you are doing; for no one who wants to be widely known acts in secret. If you do these things, show yourself to the world.’ (For not even his brothers believed in him.) Jesus said to them, ‘My time has not yet come, but your time is always here. The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify against it that its works are evil. Go to the festival yourselves. I am not going to this festival, for my time has not yet fully come.’ After saying this, he remained in Galilee.

Earlier Event: February 16
John 6:60-71, Words of Eternal Life
Later Event: February 18
John 11:1-44, Jesus Raises Lazarus