Mosiac of Jesus in the great Christian Church of Istanbul, Turkey, Hagia Sophia.
Bible Readings and Devotion for May 8, 2020
Here are the references for the readings. Please look these up in your print Bible, your smartphone app Bible, or your online Bible:
Devotion for May 8, 2020
By Pastor David Tinker
Today we see mention of the brothers of Jesus. At this point in the account of the life and ministry of Jesus these siblings do not believe that Jesus is who he shows himself to be. This is due, at least in part, to what Jesus teaches in other places.
A certain place where he notes this is in Mark 6:2-6, “On the sabbath he (Jesus) began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astounded. They said, “Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been given to him? What deeds of power are being done by his hands! 3 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. 4 Then Jesus said to them, “Prophets are not without honor, except in their hometown, and among their own kin, and in their own house.” 5 And he could do no deed of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them. 6 And he was amazed at their unbelief.”
In essence, his own family did not believe in Jesus, at first, because of their extreme familiarity with him. They grew up with him. They worked alongside him. He was just one of the guys to them. It took the intensely dramatic power of the suffering and death of Jesus on the cross, and his subsequent resurrection, for these brothers to finally get who their sibling truly was.
Here are some things about the siblings of Jesus. We don’t hear anything about his sisters, except that they exist. This was common in Mediterranean culture not to note much about women. We do hear the names of his brothers – James, Joses, Judas, and Simon. This is a little about what we know of these brothers.
James – first Bishop of Jerusalem, author of book of James, also a martyr. He is the prominent leader in drawing together the Church as we see recorded in Acts 15.
Judas – known as Jude, the author of the New Testament book, also a martyr
Little to nothing about Joses and Simon. Some note of them being married. Likely leaders of early church, for Mary and his four brothers were in the core group of 120 believers after Jesus’ Ascension. In Acts 1 we read: “All these were constantly devoting themselves to prayer, together with certain women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as his brothers.”
A question many will ask: What sort of siblings? There are three, and somewhat, four views:
1 – Half siblings, born of Mary and Joseph after Jesus was born. Jesus was conceived in Mary by the Holy Spirit.
2 – Step siblings, born of Joseph and a previous wife.
3 – a combination of step and half siblings – A mix of views #1 & #2
4 – Cousins, born of a sibling of either Mary or Joseph – the word used in Greek can mean sibling or cousin
What happens in the end is that these family members of Jesus are grafted into the family of God through the same means we do. People are grafted into the Body of Christ, the family of God, by the gift of faith in what God has done for us in Jesus Christ. We are grafted into the family of God by the forgiveness of our sin brought about by the loving and willing sacrifice of Jesus for us. In the end, our connection with Jesus and the connection of the brothers of Jesus, is all about Jesus. It is all about Jesus and the cross.
O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son. Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred that infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and, through our struggle and confusion, work to accomplish your purposes on earth; so that, in your good time, every people and nation may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen
Prayer from Evangelical Lutheran Worship. Copyright © 2020 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved.