Thursday, September 4, 2008

Jesus' Family

Let’s pick up our study in Galatians 1:18 where it says, “Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days.” As we discussed last week, from the time of Paul’s conversion until the time he arrived in Jerusalem was three years because he was not seeking their approval.

Notice vv.19-20, “But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord's brother. Now the things which I write unto you, behold, before God, I lie not.” Upon his arrival in Jerusalem, Paul also sees an apostle that he refers to as "James, the Lord's brother." The Lord had brothers? Hang on now; I’m going to get a little controversial here; but that’s okay, I’ve got the Bible on my side. One of the most unsubstantiated and contradictory doctrines espoused by the Roman Catholic Church is the perpetual virginity of Mary. This doctrine teaches that Mary never had any other children after Jesus. However, the Bible clearly teaches that Mary and Joseph had more children after Jesus. In actuality, Jesus had at least four brothers and two sisters. It says in Mark 6:3, “Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.” I’m sure that some are offended at me right now as well.

To further press the point, the Bible also tells us that Jesus’ brothers were married. It says in 1 Corinthians 9:5, “Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?” Notice that it says “the brethren of the Lord”. That is not referring to spiritual brethren but biological. Also, the Bible says that his brothers had a hard time believing in him as the Messiah. In John 7:1-9 it says, “…His brethren therefore said unto him, Depart hence, and go into Judaea, that thy disciples also may see the works that thou doest.” They were literally daring Jesus to go Judea: to his own hurt of course. These were Jesus’ brothers. My grandmother used to tell me, “Son, as long as you have family, you’ll never lack for enemies.” The older I get, the more I realize how true that is!

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