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Jesus’ Family


 

It is popular belief, that Jesus was an only child and that Mary stayed a virgin. According to scripture Jesus had brothers and sisters. Scripture names four brothers. At least one of those brothers, James (also known as "James the just" by the early church),became a leader of the church and bishop of Jerusalem.

But remember that Jesus said that his true family are those that do the will of his Father in heaven. For when we are born again we become one with Christ and are children of God. Jesus called his disciples his brothers and sisters so we are also counted as his brothers and sisters if we stay faithful, and we will even share in the inheritance of the kingdom of Heaven.

 


Jesus’ Genealogy

 

A geneology is given of Jesus' ancestry in Matthew and Luke. Some of the names decending back differ. Some believe that the geneology in Matthew is Josephs side, and that the geneology given in Luke is Mary's side of the family. In Eusebius' (260-340AD) the church history, he writes that one is the direct legal line meaning that some of the names may be legal step fathers, and that the other lists the names of the real biological fathers.

 

Matthew 12:46-50

46 While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside wanting to speak to him. 47 Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.” 48 He replied to him, “ Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” 49 Pointing to his disciples, he said, “ Here are my mother and my brothers. 50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

 


Matthew 13:53-56

53 When Jesus had finished these parables, he moved on from there. 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. 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? 56 Aren’t all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” 57 And they took offense at him.

(Four of Jesus' brothers are named here. From what scripture states these are his only known biological brothers. It is also written that he has sisters, but scripture never names them.)

 


John 7:1-5

1 After this, Jesus went around in Galilee, purposely staying away from Judea because the Jews there were waiting to take his life. 2 But when the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles was near, 3 Jesus’ brothers said to him, “ You ought to leave here and go to Judea, so that your disciples may see the miracles you do. 4 No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world.” 5 For even his own brothers did not believe in him.

(It is unknown why Jesus' brothers did not believe in him. Maybe they also took offense that he claimed to be the son of God. It is known that James became bishop of Jerusalem. Paul writes about him, as do early church fathers.)

 


 Acts 1:14

14 They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.

(After Jesus was resurrected and went back to Heaven all of his disciples that were left came together in prayer. Even his mother and his brothers believed in him. But it is not known if all of his brothers believed in Jesus. It is well known that Jude (author of the book of Jude) and James (author of the book of James, and bishop of Jerusalem) believed.)

 


Galatians 1:18-19

18 Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Peter and stayed with him fifteen days. 19 I saw none of the other apostles-only James, the Lord’s brother.

(James became a leader in the church(bishop of Jerusalem), wrote the book of James, and was martyred for the Lords name and sake.)


Even the Jewish historian acknowledged that Jesus had a brother, and he has record of his persecution. Here in "Antiquities of the Jews", written by Josephus, Josephus talks about James the brother of John.

 

Antiquities of the Jews 20.200

(convened the Sanhedrin [the highest Jewish religious court / governing body]. He had brought before them the brother of Jesus the so-called Christ, who was called James, and some other men, whom he accused of having broken the law, and handed them over to be stoned.)