Summary: And from the belief of Jesus brothers we also receive a great blessing... Their eventual conversion provides overwhelming evidence of the resurrection of Jesus. We receive a great heritage from the brothers of Jesus.
Even His Brothers Did Not Believe
Today I’m going to share with you a message about the brothers of Jesus… we’re going to focus specifically on their lack of belief in their earthly brother, who they would have called Yeshua… and their eventual faith in Jesus Christ, The Son of the Living God.
The gospel of John is designed to create faith in Jesus, and yet John also tells us of those who did not have faith in Jesus… In John 1:11 we read of those who lacked faith from among His own people… “He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.”
In John 6:66 we read of those who lacked faith from among His disciples, “After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him.”
For a time, even Jesus own brothers (who are named in Mathew 13:55) did not believe... John 7:5 says, “For not even his brothers believed in Him.”
In Mark 3:21 the Bible says, “And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for they were saying, “He is out of his mind.”
The unbelief of Jesus brothers was foretold in Psalms 69:8, “I have become a stranger to my brothers, an alien to my mother’s sons.”
They eventually did come to believe in Jesus. Acts 1:14 says, “All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.”
Why did Jesus’ brothers not believe in Him from the very beginning...? Had they not seen the miracles? Did they not know Him as well as anyone else?
I want to share with you some reasons why they did not believe at first, and the reason they came to believe at last.
I believe that this can provide some valuable lessons for us today...
Perhaps the brothers of Jesus were blinded by familiarity. It is often said, “Familiarity breeds contempt” This hindered many who knew Jesus from childhood…
Matthew 13:54-57 says, “… and coming to his hometown he taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these mighty works? Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And are not all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” And they took offense at him.”
It may be Important to note here that Judas was a common name in New Testament era Israel. The Judas that we are familiar with who betrayed Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane is a different man than the brother of Jesus, who is also named Judas.
The problem of unbelief was also a problem common among prophets. The same passage in Mathew goes on to say, “But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household.” Mathew 13:57
Perhaps they were blinded by envy. Large crowds had been following Jesus everywhere making it difficult for His family to speak to Him at times.
Matthew 12:46 says “While he was still speaking to the people, behold, his mother and his brothers stood outside, asking to speak to him. But he replied to the man who told him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”
Jealousy can be a powerful hindrance to seeing things clearly. D. L. Moody told a story of two merchants between whom there was great rivalry and bitter feeling. One of them was a Christian. He went to his minister and said, “I’m still jealous of that man, and I don’t know how to overcome it.” “Well,” said the minister, “if a man comes into your store to buy goods, and you cannot supply him, just send him over to your neighbor.” He said he wouldn’t like to do that. “Well,” said the minister, “you do it and you will kill jealousy.” Sure enough, when he began sending customers over to his rival for goods he himself could not supply, the rival began to send customers over to this man’s store, and the breach was healed.
Perhaps the brothers of Jesus were blinded by preconceptions. Many Jews had wrong conceptions concerning the Kingdom of God. John chapter six gives the account of Jesus taking five loaves and two fishes from a boy and multiplying them miraculously to feed an immense crowd which had followed after him because of the signs and healings and wonders that He was performing…