Son, Mother | Devotion #1: We Are Family
Dr. Randy T. Johnson | Growth Pastor
I coached a number of varsity sports for the past two and a half decades. I remember when I was coaching girl’s varsity soccer. Katie was a very good player but seemed so stressed. Both her brothers were first team all-state stars. They were excellent, and because of them, she put more pressure on herself. We had a good conversation. I reminded her that she was a good player in her own right, that I was not comparing her to her brothers, and that she needed to have fun. The season turned out great.
Following an older sibling can be difficult. You can be discredited or overly pressured because of their track record. Many of you might still fight the battle. Jesus was a firstborn (please remember the doctrine of the Virgin Birth). Scripture tells us that He had brothers and sisters. He must have been a tough act to follow. It is hard to improve on perfection.
The Bible speaks of Jesus having siblings. John 2:12 mentions Jesus’ brothers being at the wedding feast where He performed the miracle of water to wine. Luke 8:19-21 (Matthew 12:46-50; Mark 3:31-35) records when His mother and brothers came to visit Him, and He says, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it.” Mark 6:3 (Matthew 13:55) is even more specific by giving names and adding his sisters to the discussion, “‘Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?’ And they took offense at him.”
Although Jesus had siblings and Mary had other children, John 19:26-27 says, “When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, behold, your son!’ Then he said to the disciple, ‘Behold, your mother!’ And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.” Mary had other children, but it appears they were not at her side when she needed them most. Early writers convey that Jesus’ siblings did not accept Jesus as the Messiah until after His resurrection. They were nowhere to be found as Mary wept at the feet of her eldest child. Therefore, Jesus called on a friend.
Have you heard the phrase, “Brother from another mother?” It means that although two guys are not related, it is as if they are because they have the same Heavenly Father. They have a love for each other and have each other’s back. John was Jesus’ brother from another mother.
If you do not have family nearby or cannot count on them, remember that in the church you have a family. You have brothers and sisters that God has placed near you to encourage you. They are there for you when you are hurting, and you can be there for them when they have a need. It is the church family.