Summary: A sermon on how to S.H.A.R.E. our faith with our families using Jesus’ family as an illustration. (Material taken from Steve Bowen in Rev Magazine article entitled "Family Discipleship")
Sermon for 2/12/2006
The Most Important Mission Field
A Sunday school teacher was discussing the Ten Commandments with her 5 and 6 year olds. After explaining the commandment to “Honor thy father and mother,” she asked, “Is there a commandment that teaches us how to treat our brothers and sisters?” Without missing a beat one little boy- the oldest of a family- answered, “Thou shalt not kill.”
A. Tuesday is Valentines Day and it is a celebration of romantic love.
B. There is an old saying, “Familiarity breeds children.” You thought I was going to say contempt. Since talking about romantic love leaves out several, I have several things I would like to share about reaching our families, both immediate and extended families, with Jesus Christ and the church.
C. The most important mission field that we have is our families. Lee Iacocca said, “No matter what you’ve done for yourself or for humanity, if you can’t look back on having given love and attention to your own family, what have you really accomplished?”
D. This past week I was struck by passages of Scripture that talked about Jesus’ family and Jesus’ hometown. Don’t these two really coincide?
E. First of all, I want to talk about Jesus’ family.
1. (Mat 1:24 NIV) When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. (Mat 1:25 NIV) But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son.
a. Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit and Joseph and Mary did not have sexual relations until after the birth of Jesus. Mary was a virgin until after the birth of Jesus. No union until, Joseph did not know her until after the birth of Jesus.
b. The idea that Mary was perpetual virgin is ludicrous and untrue.
2. (John 2:12 NIV) After this he went down to Capernaum with his mother and brothers and his disciples. There they stayed for a few days.
a. After Jesus in the temple at the age of 12, we have no record of Joseph. We can assume that he died somewhere between Jesus’ 12th birthday and Jesus first miracle here at Cana in Galilee.
b. We have his mother at this miracle of changing water into wine and also his brothers. This wedding may be of a family friend so Jesus, his mother and his brothers were all invited.
3. (Mat 12:46 NIV) While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him.
a. Some say that Jesus’ brothers wanted to tell him to stop doing what he was doing. They thought he was crazy.
4. (John 7:3 NIV) Jesus’ brothers said to him, "You ought to leave here and go to Judea, so that your disciples may see the miracles you do. (John 7:4 NIV) No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world."(John 7:5 NIV) For even his own brothers did not believe in him.
a. We see here that his brothers did not believe in him. There suggestions here are probably more sarcastic than serious.
b. His brothers did not believe in his purpose.
c. Could we imagine for a moment growing up with Jesus? A man who never sinned, who always did what was right at all times. I am sure that there were some family conflicts over the character of Jesus. The jealousy that was in these brothers probably was great. Proverbs 17:17 says a brother is born for adversity.
F. Jesus’ hometown of Nazareth
1. (Mat 13:54) Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. "Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?" they asked. (Mat 13:55) "Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? (Mat 13:56) Aren’t all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?"(Mat 13:57) And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, "Only in his hometown and in his own house is a prophet without honor."(Mat 13:58) And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.
a. We do not know if Jesus’ brothers poisoned the minds of the Nazarenes against Jesus, or the Nazarenes poisoned the minds of his brothers against Jesus. Probably a little bit of both.
b. This town was probably filled with Jesus’ relatives. These people had known him for a long time and how dare he make such a spectacle of himself.
c. The carpenter’s son- Imagine Jesus and his brothers learning the family business from their father Joseph. Carpentry was a skilled trade and Joseph would have taught his sons. Many people came to have work done. The whole town would have come to know Jesus and his brothers. I am sure that when Jesus left the carpenter’s shop to minister, his brothers resented him and the whole town might have been surprised that he left.