How Many Brothers and Sisters Did Jesus Have?
When it came to Joseph and Mary’s household in Nazareth, who was there? Are we to believe that Jesus was an only child in the family, or if there were brothers and sisters, what was their status in regard to Him? His siblings and sisters are frequently mentioned by the gospel authors. What were the names of Jesus’ siblings? This is a matter that has been debated since the beginning of time, and many lengthy writings have been published on the subject. Due to theological reasons related to the perpetual virginity of the Lord’s mother, denominational difficulties, and the canonicity of non-apostolic epistles, it has been difficult to have an objective discussion on the subject.
Bible Verses about Jesus’ Brother and Sisters
Let us begin by summarizing what we know about the brothers and sisters of the Lord from the Scriptures of the New Testament. Their names are found in Matthew 12:46-50, 13:55-56, Mark 3:31, 6:3, and Luke 8:19, as well as John 2:12, 7:3, Acts 1:14, and 1 Corinthians 9:5, and Paul refers to a James the Lord’s brother (Galatians 1:19). There appear to have been four brothers who are listed in Matthew 13:55: James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas, according to the evidence (seeMark 6:3). The sisters are mentioned in Matthew and Mark, although neither the number nor the names of the sisters are recorded.
They were reportedly married and living in Nazareth at the time of Christ’s death.
They are first described as traveling to Capernaum with His mother and Himself (John 2:12).
Most claim that they were converted to Christianity as a result of His resurrection, since they appear in the company of the Apostles (Acts 1:14).
The following is an adaptation of The Life of Our Lord on the Earth by Samuel James Andrews.
Who Were Jesus’ Brothers?
Those of us who have siblings are well aware of the toll they may have on our ability to remain calm under pressure. I recall thinking as a youngster that I would have sinned significantly less if I had not been given siblings. I was probably right. Of course, knowing me, I would’ve sinned regardless, but I had a strong belief in this idea for many years before I realized it. Our first thoughts aren’t often about Jesus’ brothers and sisters; they’re more typically on Jesus himself. As a result, we tend to think of Jesus as an only child throughout his early years, in a stable and a manger, which makes it easy to overlook that Mary and Joseph had numerous children after Jesus arrives.
This would indicate that they may have had a number of children before Joseph died, if not enough to fill an entire homeschool passenger van.
But who are the brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ? Are there any of them that we get the chance to meet in the Bible? And what unanticipated insights may we get from Jesus’ brothers and sisters?
Did Jesus Have a Twin?
In a nutshell, no. After the birth of Jesus, the Bible makes it plain that Joseph and Mary did not have sexual relations until after the birth of Jesus (Matthew 1:25). Despite this, the belief that Jesus has a twin brother continues to pervade churches today. The notion that Jesus had a twin called “Didymus Judas Thomas” is completely absurd, especially in light of the fact that Joseph and Mary did not engage in sexual intercourse until after the birth of Jesus. Jesus, on the other hand, did not grow up in a family without siblings and sisters.
Let’s have a look at some of the names of Jesus’ brothers and sisters that appear in the Bible.
Jesus’ Brother and Sister Names
In the Bible, we don’t have any names that are similar to ours. Women’s names are rarely mentioned in the Bible, unless they had major parts in the story, such as the judge Deborah or Mary the mother of Jesus, who were both mentioned. Consider some of the scriptures that refer to Jesus’ brothers and sisters. While Jesus was still speaking to the multitude, his mother and brothers remained outside the door, waiting for an opportunity to speak with him. Matthew 12:46 As a result of the verses below, we know that Jesus had sisters.
- “How did he obtain all of these things?” you might wonder.
- What is now happening to some of these brothers will be discussed in detail later.
- The number of children he has is not specified in the Gospels.
- Joseph was most likely deceased, and she need Jesus to serve as the home’s head of household.
- Regardless of one’s objections, Scripture refers to these individuals as Jesus’ siblings, and for the sake of this essay, we will refer to them as half-siblings.
What Happened to Jesus’ Brothers and Sisters?
Although Mary initially supports Jesus’ work, when difficult circumstances arise, she urges him to step back and return home to care for his family, according to the Matthew 12verse. In the New Testament, we don’t learn anything about what happened to Jesus’ family until much later in the book of Matthew. The New Testament story is dominated by two of Jesus’ brothers, James and Jude, and we know that they play a significant role in it. As we have seen, James and Jude must have had some reservations about Jesus at initially since they arrive with Mary in order to stop Jesus from continuing his teachings.
- Following his conversion, James becomes the pastor of a church in Jerusalem, and he later goes on to write the Book of James.
- A stone or a fall from the Temple tower is used to bring him to his death.
- The Book of Jude, as you would have guessed.
- Beyond the fact that Jude converted after Jesus returned to the Father’s presence in heaven, we don’t know much about his life.
As far as the rest of Jesus’ siblings are concerned, we know that many of them have converted and gone on to perform missionary travels themselves (1 Corinthians 9:5). Whether or not they all decided to have a saving connection with him is unknown, but it is likely that a significant number do so.
3 Lessons from Jesus’ Brothers
In spite of the fact that we don’t get to learn much about Jesus’ siblings and sisters in Scripture, we may take away a number of important truths from them. First and foremost, Jesus’ relationship with his siblings demonstrates that he fully comprehends every element of our existence. He knows what it’s like to grow up with folks who don’t necessarily agree with you. Even though ancient Israel did not have the same individualistic worldview as we have now, there was nonetheless sibling rivalry and competitiveness between brothers and sisters.
- Second, even Jesus’ siblings expressed skepticism.
- James and Jude don’t believe in Jesus until after he ascends back into heaven.
- We may take consolation from Jesus’ example, knowing that even his own family did not stand by him during his trial.
- This might provide encouragement to those of us who have family members who have not yet made a commitment to Christ in their life.
- Both of them compose books of the New Testament.
- That’s genuine commitment.
- After all, many of us are set in our ways, and squabbles might come in the way of having a healthy connection with them.
Perhaps, like Jesus’ half-siblings, they can learn about the magnificent lovingkindness of our Lord.
Ask God for patience and prayer when it comes to our siblings.
Sources Hope Bolingeris a multi-published author and a graduate of Taylor University’s professional writing department.
She has worked for several publishing houses, periodicals, newspapers, and literary agencies and has edited the work of authors such as Jerry B.
Her modern-day Daniel trilogy is out with IlluminateYA.
And her inspirational adult romancePicture Imperfectreleases in November of 2021.
This page is part of ourPeople of Christianitycatalog that includes the tales, meaning, and importance of well-known persons from the Bible and history.
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Did Jesus have any brothers, sisters or siblings?
Throughout history, there has been great debate about the precise nature of their link to Jesus and his apostles. Consequently, the issue remains: Did Jesus have siblings? There have been three main points of view put forward: They have been identified as (1) Jesus’ actual siblings/brothers, that is, half-brothers, sons of Joseph and Mary (and therefore younger than Jesus); (2) His stepbrothers, that is, children of Joseph by a previous marriage (and thus all older than Jesus and not His blood relatives at all); (3) Jesus’ cousins, either on the mother’s side or on the father’s side, depending on who you believe.
Where exactly was Jesus’ birthplace?
Three views about Jesus’ siblings
Some adhere to the first viewpoint, arguing that it is the most natural way to interpret the multiple allusions to these brothers, as well as the most evident intention of Matthew 1:25 and Luke 2:7. Second, those who believe in family ethics claim that younger siblings should not be permitted to mock or otherwise interfere with an older brother in the same way that Jesus’ brothers ridiculed Him (see Mark 3:31; John 7:3-4). Moreover, they argue, Jesus’ decision to entrust His mother’s care to the apostle John (John 19:26-27), rather than to one of His brothers, clearly shows that Mary did not have any other children.
Their relationship as cousins on Mary’s side is predicated on the unconfirmed identification of “Mary, the wife of Cleophus” with Mary’s sister (John 19:25; Mark 15:40), as well as the unsubstantiated relationship between “Clopas” and Alphaeus (John 19:25; Mark 15:40).
Jesus’ brothers, sistersmother
Several of Jesus’ siblings are reported as joining him and his mother to Capernaum following their marriage at Cana (Matthew 19:9). (John 2:12). The next year, Mary and these brothers are mentioned as attempting to have an audience with Jesus (Matthew 12:46-50; Mark 3:31-35; Luke 8:19-21). A few chapters before the conclusion of Jesus’ public career, His brethren are recorded as asking Jesus to demonstrate His Messiahship, which they themselves had questioned (John 7:3-5). Their conversion is obvious from the fact that they are portrayed in Acts as joining with the disciples and others in “prayer and supplication” before to the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1–3).
Paul makes the implication that they were all married (1 Corinthians 9:5).
Also widely held to be the case is that James the brother of Jesus was the spiritual leader of the early church in Jerusalem (see Acts 12:17; 15:13).
What Happened to Jesus’ ‘Brothers’?
Sign up for Christianity Today and you’ll gain instant access to back issues of Christian History! A number of “brothers and sisters” are referenced in the Gospels, but only James and Jude are mentioned elsewhere in the New Testament—James as the leader of the early church in Jerusalem, and Jude in the brief epistle that bears his name. See “Mary” for a potential meaning of “brothers and sisters.” According to the Gospel of John, Jesus’ family was first doubtful of his mission: “Even his brothers did not believe in him,” the Gospel reads.
At the Jerusalem Council, James, the eldest of Jesus’ brothers, made the decision that Gentile Christians did not have to follow traditional Jewish rules.
Some believe he led an austere lifestyle, and it has been stated that he spent so much time in prayer that his knees “were like those of a camel.” According to Jewish historian Josephus, James was stoned to death by Jewish religious authorities.
It is unknown if this James or someone else was the author of the epistle that bears his name.
Following the publication of his letter of caution about impostors who had entered the church, it is possible that Jude himself rose to the position of recognized church leader, and possibly even a traveling missionary who witnessed such difficulties directly.
The other disciples
Following the Gospels, the disciples are only briefly mentioned in the New Testament. We have only legends to go on for more specifics, some of which are questionable. Andrew, Peter’s brother, is said to have preached in Asia Minor, Thrace, and Greece before being crucified on an X-shaped cross, according to a tenth-century story. He was recognized as the founder of the church in Constantinople, and he may have had a connection to the development of written language. Congratulations, you have reached the conclusion of this Article Preview.
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How many siblings did Jesus have?
QuestionAnswer Two verses in the Bible provide us with information on Jesus’ brothers and sisters. “When he returned to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were astounded.” Matthew 13:54–57 states that the people were amazed. What they wanted to know was, “Where did this man receive this intelligence and these incredible powers?” ‘Isn’t this the son of the carpenter? What if his mother’s name is Mary, and his brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas aren’t named the same as him?
- ‘So, where did this man obtain all of these things?’ I wondered.
- ‘The brother of James,’ according to Jude 1:1, is the epistle’s author and subject.
- It is likely that both James and Jude (Judas) were among the group of siblings who were initially humiliated by their elder brother’s bold notoriety and then came to take Him home to their parents (Matthew 12:46).
- However, after seeing Jesus’ resurrection, His siblings became devout followers of the Lord.
- Another school of thought holds that the allusions to Jesus’ siblings merely relate to the fact that Joseph had children of his own prior to his marriage to Mary.
- Both theories, on the other hand, lack scriptural foundation, and there is no logical reason to assume that the siblings identified by name in Scripture were not the biological children of both Mary and Joseph.
Questions about Matthew (return to top of page) How many brothers and sisters did Jesus have?
Who Was James, Jesus’ Brother?
Jesus was born into a large family. Jesus’ brothers are named in Matthew 13:55-56: James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas, as well as sisters (plural), indicating that He had at least six siblings in all. When Jesus’ brothers are stated, James is usually placed first, which in Jesus’ day most likely implied that he was the oldest of the four brothers. James, also known as Old Camel Knees and James the Just, was the leader of the church in Jerusalem until his brutal murder in AD 62. Photograph courtesy of Getty Images/Anyaberkut
What Does the Bible Say about James?
Jesus’ brothers make fun of Him in John 7:1-4. “Because even his own brothers did not trust in him,” says verse 5, explaining the situation. This is at the conclusion of Jesus’ public career, perhaps around six months before his death on the cross. The miracles of Jesus include healing a man who had been paralyzed for 38 years (John 5:2-9), feeding 5,000 men with a boy’s lunch (John 6:5-14), and walking on water (John 6:15). (John 6:16-21). Although he has witnessed miracles for more than two years, James remains skeptical.
James is expressly mentioned in 1 Corinthians 15:7 as one of the people to whom Jesus appeared after His Resurrection. James thinks that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, who has come to redeem people from their sins after witnessing his dead brother walking and talking to him. He does not announce himself as Jesus’ brother or as the leader of the church when he subsequently writes the Epistle of James, but rather as “James, the servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,” as he does in the book of Acts (James 1:1).
James is one of the 120 people who are filled with the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, which marks the beginning of the Church (Acts 2:1-4).
Photograph courtesy of Unsplash/Ben White
James Was a Wise Leader
When Paul travels to Jerusalem less than 10 years later, he meets with two church elders: Peter and James, the brother of Jesus, who are both apostles. Galatians 1:18-19 narrates this occurrence in detail, and Paul refers to James as an apostle, one of a limited group of people who had experienced the risen Christ and whose teaching had authority. James is one of the apostles who witnessed the rising Christ and whose teaching had authority. When Paul comes to Jerusalem 14 years later to settle the question of which Jewish rules apply to Gentile Christians, James is still the leader of the church in Jerusalem.
- An acrimonious and intricate conflict threatens to split the young Church in half.
- He gives people the freedom to express themselves completely, including all of their worries and disagreements.
- The majority of orators of the time flatteried their audiences with flowery compliments, weaved in anecdotes and cultural allusions, and finally came around to hinting to whatever it was that they were trying to get over to their audience.
- God is rescuing both Jews and Gentiles, according to Peter, and he affirms that statement.
- James then makes his final decision, which is a compromise.
- There is no longer any discussion.
- The apostle Paul refers to James as a pillar of the church and a man of high renown in Galatians 2:10, when narrating the tale of the Jerusalem Council in that city.
Additionally, he recalls that when James and the other elders gave their approval for his Gentile mission, the only thing they requested was that he keep the poor’s needs in mind. Photograph courtesy of Getty Images/chaiyapruek2520
Jesus’ Brother Was a Radical Advocate
It is a source of great emotion for James, who throughout the Epistle of James frequently calls for justice for the poor. Approximately one-quarter of the book is devoted to advocating for and supporting the less fortunate, denouncing favoritism based on money, and addressing the wealthy about their greed, indifference, exploitation, and arrogant arrogance, among other things. Other than Jesus Himself, there is no other figure in the New Testament who speaks so extensively against social inequity.
- “Now listen up, you affluent people; cry and howl because of the suffering that is about to fall upon you.
- Corrosion will testify against you, and your body will be consumed by it like fire.
- During your time on Earth, you indulged in luxury and self-indulgence.
- Not only does James encourage compassion and care for the poor, but he also elevates and glorifies them.
- “Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Hasn’t God selected those who are poor in this world to be wealthy in faith and to inherit the kingdom He promised to those who love Him?” (See also James 2:5).
In the first lines of the Epistle of James, just as he did at the Jerusalem Council, James skips over the long-winded pleasantries and blessings and gets right to the heart of the matter. The fact that you are facing challenges of various types should be considered pure delight, dear brothers and sisters.” (See James 1:2.) When a pastor exhorts his congregation to trust God despite of their circumstances, to be faithful and pure, and to humbly submit to God, the heart of the pastor may be heard beating in his words.
In this letter to individuals who are “scattered throughout the nations,” James provides solace to those who are suffering by pointing them toward the everlasting perspective of the Bible.
For James, unity in the church is a top priority, as evidenced by his repeated exhortations to Christians to refrain from judging one another (James 2:12-13, 4:11-12), control their tongues and tempers (James 1:19-20, 3:2-12), and put aside the envy and selfish ambition that cause disorder, conflict, and quarrels (James 3:12-12).
- At the time of James’s last historical appearance in the Bible, he is celebrating over the Gentiles who have become members of God’s family and counseling Paul on how to reconcile divisions within the Church.
- James saw that Paul was not advocating that Jews should abandon their Jewish identity when they place their faith in Jesus.
- This uncertainty and divide can be resolved by James suggesting that Paul demonstrate that he still considers himself Jewish and adheres to the Law of Moses by engaging in a purification ceremony and paying for four other men to do the same, as suggested by James (Acts 21:17-26).
- His example of leadership exemplifies James 3:17-18 in action.
A harvest of righteousness will be reaped by peacemakers who sow the seeds of peace.” Photograph courtesy of Getty Images/kovop58
How Did Jesus’ Brother James Die?
The death of James is not mentioned in the Scriptures. James, the leader of the early church in Jerusalem, is likely still alive and serving as the book of Acts’ last chapter, which concludes with Paul under house arrest in Rome. The historian Josephus dates James’ death during a period of transition between two Roman rulers, indicating that he died around the year 62 AD, which is a likely date. By this point, James has earned himself a number of nicknames, including James the Just, Oblias (a Greek phrase that translates as “bulwark of the people”), and Old Camel Knees (a moniker that refers to his age).
Matt Erickson writes that Hegessipus, a 2ndcentury Christian, wrote that James was often found alone in the temple on his knees begging God to forgive the Jews and that he spent so much time on his knees in prayer that his knees “became hard like those of a camel.” Hegessipus also wrote that James spent so much time on his knees in prayer that his knees “became hard like those of a camel.” His behavior provided proof that he believed what he stated in James 5:16 regarding prayer.
- His trust would be put to the test in due course.
- It is this that concerns the Jewish authorities, who implore James to address the throng.
- The people are befuddled and are following a dead guy by the name of Jesus.
- “He is seated at the right side of God in the heavenly realms, and he will return on the clouds of heaven.” Many of the people are convinced right then and then that Jesus is the Resurrected Lord, and they begin to praise Him right there and then.
- “Oh my goodness!” they exclaim to the crowd.
- However, he is not killed, and as a result, the leaders begin stoning him.
- He prostrates himself before God, pleading with him to forgive the Jews.
- What exactly are you doing?
- Photograph courtesy of Unsplash/Annie Spratt.
Was James One of the 12 Disciples?
The vast majority of Biblical scholars agree that James the brother of Jesus should not be confused with James, the brother of John and the son of Zebedee, who is the son of Zebedee. According to Acts 12:2, James was assassinated just prior to the Jerusalem Council, which was chaired by James the brother of Jesus. It has been suggested that James the brother of Jesus and James the son of Alphaeus, a follower of Jesus’, may be the same person. These academics propose that James is a relative or stepbrother of Jesus in order to explain the discrepancy in their fathers’ surnames.
Although it is plausible, it is improbable given the fact that Jesus’ brothers did not think He was the Messiah. Their ridicule of Jesus in John 7:1-4 was the result of their disbelief, and it came after a series of events in which the 12 disciples were involved.
The Legacy of James
The life of James demonstrates the significance of the Resurrection. A skeptical skeptic is transformed into a loyal disciple after witnessing the resurrection of the crucified Jesus on the cross. His leadership of the Church in Jerusalem is an example of just, uniting, and steady servant leadership, and he should be commended for it. The purpose of the Church is shaped by the teachings of the Book of James, which include unity, fidelity in prayer and testimony, purity, endurance in the face of adversity, and compassionate care for one another and the poor.
- Photograph courtesy of Getty Images /rudall30 Jeannie Myers is a freelance writer who lives in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, where she enjoys the beauty of nature.
- Reading, camping, singing, and playing board games with her children are some of Jeannie’s favorite pastimes.
- Jeannie Myers is a freelance writer who lives in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, where she enjoys the beauty of nature.
- Reading, camping, singing, and playing board games with her children are some of Jeannie’s favorite pastimes.
How many brothers and sisters did Jesus have?
What was the total number of brothers and sisters that Jesus had? I’m aware that James was His younger brother.
Despite the fact that the New Testament informs us that Jesus had four brothers, it does not provide information on how many sisters He had. Isn’t this the carpenter’s son, or something? Isn’t His mother, Mary, and his brothers, James and Joseph, as well as Simon and Judas, all named Mary? And His sisters, aren’t they all here with us as well? (NASB) The Bible says in Matthew 13:55-56:
James was Jesus’ first sibling, and he was born in Bethlehem. According to the apostle Paul, he was a member of the apostles’ group. I did not, however, see any of the apostles other than James, the Lord’s brother, and that was a disappointment. The church in Jerusalem was led by him, and he was its spiritual leader (Acts 12:17; 15:13). We also think that this brother was the author of the book of James in the New Testament.
This brother was given the name of Jesus’ paternal grandfather. Normally, we would expect Jesus to be named after his father, but Joseph was instructed by an angel to name Him Jesus. “In a dream, an angel of the Lord appeared to him and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for that which has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.” As a result, she will become pregnant and give birth to a son, whom you will name Jesus, because it is He who will save His people from their sins.” (NASB) Matthew 1:20–21 (NASB) This brother went by two different names.
Jesus also goes by the name Joses, which can be found in Mark 6:3). That’s all we know about him at this point.
We don’t know anything about this sibling of Jesus’s background.
This brother goes by the name of Jude as well. He was not the betrayer Judas Iscariot. We assume this brother is the author of the book of Jude because he refers to himself as James’ brother in the book. A bond-servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James, Jude is a man of faith who. (NASB) Jude 1The heart of this guy is revealed in the book of Jude. He was making an effort to maintain his religion. He was a devout Christian who devoted his life to God.
It is revealed in Scripture that His brothers did not believe in Him in the outset. not even His brothers were believing in Him at the time of His death. (NASB) 7:5 (John 7:5) Did they all come to trust in Jesus in the end? We don’t know what to say. However, the Bible does disclose that at least two of Jesus’ brothers were Christians: James, who was an apostle, and Jude, who was a disciple. Scripture doesn’t provide us with any further information on His other brothers and sisters, either.
I’m curious when the notion in Mary’s everlasting virginity first gained traction. God is being sought after.
Did Jesus have brothers and sisters (siblings)?
Yes! Both brothers and sisters are mentioned by name in the Bible as belonging to Jesus. Because Joseph was younger than Jesus, they would all have been younger than Jesus “had no sexual relations with her (Mary) until she became the mother of a son And he gave Him the name Jesus as a result ” (Matthew 1:25). They were born after Jesus, as a result of the marriage of Mary and Joseph, who were both Jesus’ mother and earthly father at the time of His birth. As a result, they were legally his half-blood siblings, as they had a common mother, but Jesus’ actual Father is God in Heaven (Luke 2:29).
Biblical Evidence of BrothersSisters
It is recorded in the Scriptures that Jesus’ mother and brothers came to visit Him while He was teaching (Matthew 12:46; Luke 8:19; Mark 3:31). The identities of his four brothers are revealed in Matthew 13:55: James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas, to mention a few. James is also identified as a sibling of Jesus in Galatians 1:19. In Acts 1:14, the mother and brothers of Jesus are mentioned as being among those who prayed with the disciples. Jesus’ sisters are mentioned in Matthew 13:56, albeit they aren’t given a number or a name.
He was well aware that the Jews desired to have Him killed, but the moment had not yet arrived for this to occur, so Jesus remained in Galilee.
The Controversy of Cousins
Several scholars argue that Jesus’ brothers were actually His cousins, based on the fact that the Greek term for “brother” may refer to other relatives in specific cases. However, while there is a distinct Greek term for “cousin,” that word was never employed in any of the allusions to Jesus’ siblings in the New Testament. Aside from that, if Mary wasn’t their mother, it wouldn’t make logical that they would be placed in attenance with her on a regular basis. In the biblical context, there is nothing that suggests that they were anything other than Jesus’ real, blood-related half-brothers.
In contrast to this, the Bible does not present any proof to support this claim.
(Matthew 2:20-23). According to what the Bible tells, we may be certain that Jesus had younger half-brothers and half-sisters who were all the natural offspring of Joseph and Mary, and that they were all named after him.
- What is the identity of Jesus Christ? Is Jesus the Son of God? Is Jesus our brother or sister? When did Jesus realize that He was the Son of God?
Both brothers and sisters are mentioned by name in the Bible as belonging to Jesus. Because Joseph was younger than Jesus, they would all have been younger than Jesus “had no sexual relations with her (Mary) until she became the mother of a son And he gave Him the name Jesus as a result ” (Matthew 1:25). They were born after Jesus, as a result of the marriage of Mary and Joseph, who were both Jesus’ mother and earthly father at the time of His birth. As a result, they were legally his half-blood siblings because they had a common mother, but Jesus’ actual Father is God in Heaven.
Writer/Editor: Catiana N.K.
Both brothers and sisters are mentioned in the Bible as being related to Jesus. Because of Joseph, they would all have been younger than Jesus “It was not until Mary gave birth to a son that he had any kind of relationship with her. And he gave Him the name Jesus as a result ” (Matthew 1:25). They were born after Jesus, as a result of the marriage of Mary and Joseph, who were both Jesus’ mother and earthly father at the time of their conception. Given that Jesus’ real Father is God in Heaven, they were legally his half-blood siblings who happened to have a common mother.
The Brothers of Jesus: Loving the Unbelieving Relative
“The Brothers of Jesus: Loving the Unbelieving Relative,” a publication from the Society of Jesus. The Ensign, March 1987, page 50 For many of us, we have a father or mother, a husband or wife, a brother or sister, a son or daughter who does not believe in the faith that we hold so dear. However, despite the fact that many sympathetic and useful lectures have been delivered on how to best manage this issue, I have never heard one that sought to explore how the Savior dealt with it in his own family.
- But even from the few instances that have been recorded, as well as from the end consequence of Jesus’ labors with his family, we may gain a great deal of insight.
- The names of the sisters have not been recorded, but the brothers were known by the names James (in Hebrew, Jacob), Joses (in Hebrew, Joseph, after his father), Simon, and Judas or Juda (in Hebrew, Juda) (also known as Jude).
- 13:55; see also Matthew 13:55).
- Although there is no biblical proof for this, it is widely believed.
- Immediately following the wedding at Cana (which, based on the roles played by Mary and Jesus at the feast, was almost certainly a close relative’s wedding), the entire family traveled with Jesus and his early followers to neighboring Capernaum, where they resided for a short period of time.
- “Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee,” writes the gospel writer Luke, describing the Savior’s first missionary journey: “And there went out a reputation of him throughout all the surrounding region.
- When he made his accusations, the crowd grew so enraged that they attempted to throw him from the cliff.
- (See Luke 4:16–30 for further information.) In spite of their exposure to his words and acts, “neither his brethren believed in him,” according to the sad fact of the situation.
- He screamed, “A prophet is not without respect in his own nation, and among his own kin, and in his own house,” despite the fact that he had established himself as a prophet and healer whose reputation had become well known across the area because of the Nazarenes’ sarcastic attitude.
- On one occasion, his mother and brothers interrupted a gathering in which he was preaching the gospel, and we may have caught a glimpse of it.
“Then his mother and brothers came to him, but they were prevented from approaching him because of the press.” And he was informed by a source who stated, “Thy mother and brethren are waiting outside, yearning to meet thee.” And he responded by saying, “My mother and my brethren are those who hear the word of God and put it into practice.” (See also Luke 8:19–21.) Some people have interpreted Jesus’ remarks as being harsh.
Although his family did not fully comprehend it at the time, the Savior knew what they did not: that the bonds of faith and covenant are stronger than the bonds of blood, and that his role as eldest son in the family, which they respected, was insignificant when compared to his role as Savior and Redeemer.
Abinadi taught the following about the Christ who would come: “When his soul has been offered as a sacrifice for sin, he will behold his seed.” And now, what are your thoughts?
all those who have heeded their words, and believed that the Lord would redeem his people, and have looked forward to that day for a forgiveness of their sins, I say unto you, that these are his seed.” (See Mosiah 15:10–11 for more information.) At Calvary, the Savior’s sadness and anguish at the betrayal of his earthly brethren were portrayed in a far more profound way.
- She also had four more boys, but none of them appeared to be around to console her.
- Only his lover John was with her at the time.
- It is necessary to follow the lives of the Savior’s brothers after the Crucifixion before we can think about what we can gain from his or her experience.
- (See 1 Corinthians 15:5–7 for further information.) We do not have access to the specifics of that reunion, but we do have access to the results.
- Their repentance resulted in them becoming dedicated followers of Christ—their oldest brother being the most prominent—and eventually great leaders in the early Christian church.
Luke then offers the following telling observation: “These all remained in prayer and supplication with one accord, with the women, and with Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.” (Read Acts 1:13–14 for more information.) Having finally done so, the brothers of the Lord had taken upon themselves his name and had really become members of his family!
Indeed, Paul suggests that James was elevated to the position of Apostle.
“I went up to Jerusalem to meet Peter, and stayed with him for fifteen days,” he wrote of the event.
(See Galatians 1:18–19.) At another point in time, during a period of harsh persecution, Herod assassinated James the brother of John and imprisoned Peter in jail.
As soon as they finished recounting his escape, Peter commanded them to “go and shew these things unto James and to the brothers.” (See Acts 12:7–17 for further information.) A few years later, Paul and Barnabus traveled to Jerusalem to participate in a meeting that addressed Jewish criteria for gentile Christians.
(See Acts 15:6–31 for further information.) According to Paul, “James, Cephas, and John, who appeared to be pillars” were there at the time of the occurrence.
We hold James’ general epistle to the church in high regard, regardless of his precise position in the early church leadership.
(See James 1:5) In that epistle, he refers to himself not as the Lord’s brother, but as “James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,” as opposed to “the Lord’s brother.” (See also James 1:1.) In spite of the fact that others called him and his brothers Jude, Simon, and Joses the “brethren of the Lord,” James was reluctant to proclaim his particular kinship, preferring to be recognized simply as a servant of Christ.
- Another of the four brothers begins his epistle with the words “Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James,” which is identical to the first.
- One of Jude’s most outstanding traits is his acute awareness of his elder brother as both the past and future Lord—the Lord who took Israel out of Egypt and who destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, as well as the Lord who would return in the final days to execute vengeance on everyone.
- The apostle Jude fought alongside Peter and Paul against the increasing flood of heresy that threatened to bring the church to its knees during his own lifetime.
- What immense delight there must have been in heaven, and especially for the Savior, when these four brothers, each of whom repented, were welcomed into the kingdom of God.
- A family has never before faced the difficult task of accepting the fact that a close member has turned out to be the Saviour of the world.
- Moreover, just as Jesus of Nazareth loved sincerely and well, every disciple may love with hope and patience, just as Jesus did.
- Above all, we must never, ever give up on ourselves.
As it may be for our Jameses and Judes, our Sauls and Almas, and all of their female equivalents, the same may be true for us. In a personal and intimate way, Jesus himself suffered in order to be able to succor those who are also in need of assistance. (See Heb. 2:18 and Alma 7:12 for examples.)
Did Jesus have “blood” brothers and sisters?
“Loving the Unbelieving Relative,” by the Brothers of Jesus. Mar. 1987 issue of the Ensign, page 50 For many of us, we have a father or mother, a husband or wife, a brother or sister, a son or daughter who is opposed to the gospel that we hold so dear. However, despite the fact that many compassionate and helpful sermons have been given on how to best handle this situation, I have never heard one that attempted to examine how the Savior dealt with the problem in his own family. Certain aspects of Jesus’ earthly ministry are not recorded in the scriptural record, and it is likely that he extended many gracious acts and words to his unbelieving brothers that have gone unrecorded.
Mark 6:3 informs us that Jesus had four younger brothers and at least two sisters, all of whom were the children of Mary and Joseph, according to the gospel of Matthew.
Tradition holds that when Mary’s husband died, her eldest son, Jesus, took over his business and supported the family until his brothers and sisters were married or financially self-sufficient.
Even if that were not the case, by the time Jesus was thirty, it is clear that his mother had become a widow, and as the oldest male in the family, he was sought out when there were important family matters to consider, even after he had given up his carpenter tools and committed himself fully to his mission.
- Because of Mary’s and Jesus’ roles at the feast, it is likely that the wedding was a close family member’s wedding.
- (1 John 2:1–12; 2 Timothy 3:16–18).
- “Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee,” the Gospel of Luke records of the Savior’s first missionary journey.
- As a result of his claims, the congregation became so enraged that they attempted to throw him off the cliff.
- In Luke 4:16–30, we learn about the importance of forgiveness.
- He exclaimed, “A prophet is not without honour in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house,” despite the fact that he had established himself as a prophet and healer whose name had become well known throughout the land because of the Nazarenes’ derisive response to him.
- On one occasion, his mother and brothers interrupted a meeting in which he was preaching the gospel, and we may have caught a glimpse of this.
- When his mother and brothers arrived, they were unable to approach him because of the press.
- In response, Jesus told them, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and put it into practice.” In Luke 8:19–21, Jesus teaches on the need of forgiveness.
The Savior, on the other hand, understood what his family did not yet fully comprehend: that the bonds of faith and covenant are stronger than the bonds of blood, and that his role as the eldest son in the family, which they respected, was insignificant when compared to his role as Savior and Redemption.
- “When his soul has been offered as a sacrifice for sin, he will behold his seed,” Abinadi preached in reference to the Christ who will come.
- Which raises the question of who will be his seed: “Behold I say unto you, that whosoever has heard the words of the prophets,.
- I say unto you, that these are his seed.
- When Jesus gazed down from the cross, he saw his heartbroken mother and a small group of disciples sobbing together.
- She has four more sons.
- She had no one else save his dear John at her side.
- The disciple then took her to his own house from that point on.” – The Bible says in John 19:26–27 that Nevertheless, the narrative does not come to a close here.
Paul recounts how, after the risen Christ appeared to Peter, then to the other Apostles, and then to five hundred of the honorable brethren, Jesus appeared to his brother James as well, according to the apostle.
We don’t have access to the specifics of that reunion, but we do know what happened.
Their repentance resulted in them becoming dedicated followers of Christ—their oldest brother being the most prominent—and ultimately great leaders in the early church.
Early on, James established himself as a leader.
Paul came to Jerusalem to meet with a few church leaders around three years after his conversion, in the year A.D.38.
Paul writes in Galatians 1:18–19 that Another time, at a period of extreme persecution, Herod assassinated James, the brother of John, and imprisoned Peter in jail.
Immediately after an angel appeared and delivered the principal Apostle from his imprisonment, he rushed to the home of Mary, the mother of John Mark, where some of the disciples were assembled for prayer.
(See Acts 12:7–17 for a more detailed explanation.) The apostles Paul and Barnabus visited a council in Jerusalem a few years later, when they learned about Jewish standards for gentile believers in Christ.
In Acts 15:6–31, we find a similar pattern.
Galatians 2:9 explains how to be a Christian.
We hold James’ general epistle to the church in high regard, regardless of where he stood in the early church’s hierarchy.
5th chapter in the book of James In that epistle, he refers to himself as “James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,” rather than as “the brother of the Lord.” In the book of James, verse one, the author says, In spite of the fact that others called him and his brothers Jude, Simon, and Joses the “brethren of the Lord,” James was reluctant to stress his particular kinship, preferring to be recognized simply as a servant of Christ instead.
An additional one of the four brothers begins his epistle with the words “Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James,” which is reminiscent of the previous one.
One of Jude’s most outstanding traits is his acute awareness of his elder brother as both the past and future Lord—the Lord who took Israel out of Egypt and who destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, as well as the Lord who would appear in the final days to execute vengeance on everyone.
We also know that his letter was written later in the New Testament because of his condemnation of particular types of apostasy that he mentioned.
After accepting Jesus as the Lord and Son of God, all four brothers, who had previously regarded Jesus as their elder brother only, were able to accept him as the Son of God.
That the Savior’s family was unlike any other is unquestionably true.
However, in another sense, every converted person who is deeply in love with his or her unbelieving spouse or relative suffers in the same way that Jesus suffered because of his faithless brothers and sisters.
Our attention must never be diverted from the eternal realities that surround us: the intrinsic value of each soul, the inviolability of each soul’s agency, and the universality with which the plan of salvation is implemented.
That those who were once described as having “neither his brethren believed in him” ended up identifying themselves as servants “of God and the Lord Jesus Christ” is a good thing to keep in mind.
Because Jesus himself suffered in such a personal and intimate way, he is in a position to comfort those who are also in need of help. Heb. 2:18 and Alma 7:12 are examples of such passages.