Jesus encounters lots of opposition. There are a lot of Jesus-deniers out there. Am I one of them?
Jesus the Messiah encountered criticism, grumbling and plotting because he was seen as a threat to the religious and political hierarchy, and because he exposed how we miss God’s goal (aka sin). At first, even his family had some challenges getting on board.
I need to be clear who Jesus is in my life. It is easy to not welcome Jesus. I must focus on welcoming Him into my life and my family. While the brothers and sisters of Jesus struggled, Jesus never rejected them. Jesus is patient!
Family conflict is almost as old as humanity. Sibling rivalry existed in the very first family and culminated with Cain killing his brother Abel. While other examples may not be that extreme, family conflict is a recurring theme in the Bible. From Athaliah killing all her children and grandchildren so she could seize the throne to Jesus’ own mother and brothers becoming embarrassed by His preaching, examples of family conflict illustrate what happens when family members treat their flesh and blood as liabilities instead of blessings.
- Luke 4:24–29 —And He said, “Truly I say to you, no prophet is welcome in his hometown. “But I say to you in truth, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the sky was shut up for three years and six months, when a great famine came over all the land; and yet Elijah was sent to none of them, but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. “And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.” And all the people in the synagogue were filled with rage as they heard these things; and they got up and drove Him out of the city, and led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city had been built, in order to throw Him down the cliff.
- Matthew 13:55–57 — “Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary, and His brothers, James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” And they took offense at Him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household.”
- Mark 3:21 — When His own people heard of this, they went out to take custody of Him; for they were saying, “He has lost His senses.”
- John 7:3–5 — Therefore His brothers said to Him, “Leave here and go into Judea, so that Your disciples also may see Your works which You are doing. For no one does anything in secret when he himself seeks to be known publicly. If You do these things, show Yourself to the world.” For not even His brothers were believing in Him.