How Many Brothers Did Jesus Have According To The Synoptic Gospels

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.

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?

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.

Bible Answer:

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 sibling was given the name of Jesus’ paternal grandfather. Normally, we would expect Jesus to be called after his father, but Joseph was instructed by an angel to name Him Jesus. “In a dream, an angel of the Lord came to him and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be frightened to take Mary as your wife, for that which has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.” As a result, she will get pregnant and give birth to a son, whom you will name Jesus, because it is He who will redeem 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 may be found in Mark 6:3).


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.

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I’m curious when the notion in Mary’s everlasting virginity first gained traction. God is being sought after.

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 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 it in his own family.

  • But even from the few incidents that have been preserved, as well as from the final outcome of Jesus’ labors with his family, we can gain a great deal of insight.
  • The names of the sisters have not been preserved, 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 evidence for this, it is widely believed.
  • (SeeMatt.
  • 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 earliest disciples to nearby Capernaum, where they stayed for a short period of time.
  • “Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee,” writes the gospel writer Luke, of the Savior’s first missionary journey: “And there went out a fame of him throughout all the surrounding region.

When he made his claims, the congregation became so enraged that they attempted to throw him off the cliff.

(SeeLuke 4:16–30.) The sad truth is that, despite their exposure to his words and his works, “neither did his brethren believe in him.” (John 7:5.) Months later, during a second missionary journey through Galilee, Jesus revisited Nazareth.

” (Mark 6:4; italics added.) We can only imagine the degree of Jesus’ pain at this rejection by those he loved.

We don’t know the reason for the interruption, but his family may have wanted Jesus to attend to some family matter they felt was important.

But the Savior knew what his family did not yet fully realize—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 honored, was of little significance compared to his role as Savior and Redeemer.

Speaking of the Christ who should come, Abinadi taught:“When his soul has been made an offering for sin he shall see his seed.

And who shall be his seed?“Behold I say unto you, that whosoever has heard the words of the prophets, … all those who have hearkened unto their words, and believed that the Lord would redeem his people, and have looked forward to that day for a remission of their sins, I say unto you, that these are his seed.” (Mosiah 15:10–11.) The Savior’s disappointment and pain at the faithlessness of his earthly brothers were much more poignantly revealed at Calvary.

  • From the cross, Jesus looked down at his distraught mother weeping together with a small cluster of disciples.
  • Evidently none were disciples, committed to love God and one another and to follow the way he had taught.
  • What mixed feelings Jesus must have had when he declared to his mother: “Woman, behold thy son!“ Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother!
  • Before considering what we might learn from the Savior’s experience, we need to follow the course of his brothers’ lives after the Crucifixion.
  • (See1 Cor.
  • James and his brothers responded as did Saul of Tarsus and Alma the Younger and the four sons of Mosiah.
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Immediately following the ascension of Christ, the Apostles returned to Jerusalem to the home of John Mark’s mother: “When they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James.” Then Luke makes this revealing observation: “These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.” (Acts 1:13–14.) At last, the brothers of the Lord had taken upon themselves his name and become, in very truth, members of his family!

  • James quickly rose to a position of leadership.
  • Three years after his conversion, aboutA.D.38, Paul traveled to Jerusalem to meet with a few church leaders.
  • 1:18–19.) At another time during a period of intense persecution, Herod killed James the brother of John and imprisoned Peter.
  • After describing his escape, Peter instructed them to “go shew these things unto James, and to the brethren.” (Acts 12:7–17.) A few years later, Paul and Barnabus attended a council at Jerusalem concerning Jewish requirements for gentile Christians.
  • (SeeActs 15:6–31.) Paul, in referring to that event, wrote of “James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars.” (Gal.
  • Whatever his exact position in the early church government, we treasure James’s general epistle to the church.
  • In a similar vein, another of the four brothers opens his epistle with “Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James.” (Jude 1:1.) We know little about Jude except what we learn from his epistle.

(SeeJude 1:5, 7, 14–15.) From his denunciation of certain kinds of apostasy, we also know that his letter was one of the later epistles in the New Testament.

All four brothers, family members who had once looked at Jesus as their elder brother only, were able to accept him as the Lord and the Son of God.

It is true that the Savior’s family was unique.

But in another sense, every converted person who deeply loves his or her unbelieving spouse or relative suffers as Jesus suffered over his faithless brothers.

We must never lose sight of the eternal realities—the worth of each soul, the inviolability of each soul’s agency, and the universality of the plan of salvation.

It is well to remember that those of whom it was once written “Neither did his brethren believe in him” ended by designating themselves servants “of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ.” So it may be for our Jameses and our Judes, our Sauls and our Almas, and all of their female counterparts.

In a personal, intimate way, Jesus himself suffered so that he is able to succor them that also suffer. (SeeHeb. 2:18;Alma 7:12.)

Who Were the 12 Apostles? The Complete Guide

Matthew worked as a tax collector (or publican) at Capernaum, where he collected taxes for Rome from his fellow Jews. The fact that his trade was a symbol of Israel’s Roman occupation would have been enough to make him feel like a political traitor in and of itself. The situation was exacerbated by the fact that tax collectors got their money by falsely claiming that individuals owed Caesar more than they actually did, and then taking the additional money off the top—and there was nothing anybody could do about it.

As a result, when Jesus invited Matthew to accompany him and become one of his disciples, it was a significant thing.

Even though Matthew would have been considered a religious outsider at the time, Jesus welcomed him into the inner circle of what would later become the world’s greatest religion, Christianity.

Matthew in the Bible

Matthew is one of the apostles whose calling is mentioned in the gospels, and he is one of the most important. Each of the three synoptic gospels contains a different version of the same story: “As Jesus continued his journey, he came across a man called Matthew who was seated at the tax collector’s booth. ‘Follow me,’ he said, and Matthew rose to his feet and followed him.” —Matthew 9:9 (New International Version) While walking down the street, he noticed Levi son of Alphaeus seated in the tax collector’s station.

After hearing Jesus’ words to Levi, Levi sprang to his feet and left everything behind to follow him.

Most likely, the name “Levi” refers to the tribe Matthew belonged to, but it’s also plausible that he went by both a Greek and a Hebrew name (Matthew), similar to how Paul was known by both the names Saul and Paul.

Jesus had supper at Matthew’s house immediately after summoning Matthew to join him, and “many tax collectors and sinners arrived and ate with him and his followers,” according to Matthew’s account.

After seeing this, the Pharisees confronted his disciples, asking, “Why does your teacher dine with tax collectors and sinners?” (Why Does Your Teacher Eat With Tax Collectors and Sinners?) When Jesus heard this, he responded, ‘It is the ill who require the services of a doctor, not the healthy.

—Matthew 9:10–13, New International Version As a result, the Pharisees believe that Jesus is associated with the worst of the worst (in their opinion), and they believe that this reflects poorly on him personally.

In part, Jesus’ refusal to eat with tax collectors and sinners stemmed from the fact that he too was a sinner.

By accepting Matthew among his followers, Jesus demonstrated that no one, not even those deemed unredeemable by society, would be denied a place at God’s table of blessing.

Did Matthew write the Gospel of Matthew?

The author of the Gospel of Matthew is unknown, however Matthew the Apostle is widely regarded as the book’s primary author. According to the early church, he composed it, and the attribution “according to Matthew” was probably first inserted around the time of the first century AD. Despite the fact that there are compelling reasons against his authorship, no alternate author has been identified.

Bible mystery: Was the aspotle Thomas actually Jesus Christ’s twin brother?

Sign up HERE to get science discoveries in health, business, and other areas that are important to you. Invalid email address We use the information you submit about yourself to serve you with material in ways that you have consented to and to enhance our knowledge of you. This may contain advertisements from us as well as advertisements from third parties depending on our understanding. You have the option to unsubscribe at any time. For further information, please see the following link: The tale of Jesus Christ is undoubtedly the most well-known in the world – yet even more than 2,000 years after his death, scholars are continuously uncovering new details about the historical figure.

  1. Given the full name Didymos Judas Thomas as one of Christ’s original 12 followers, Thomas has led some Christians to believe that he is the Messiah’s twin brother.
  2. Didymus is derived from the old Greek word for twin, whereas Thomas is derived from the Aramaic word for twin, which is likewise derived from the ancient Greek word for twin.
  3. According to the New Testament, Jesus did indeed have four brothers, whom we might refer to as James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas, however others contend that these are not regarded brothers in the traditional sense.
  4. Do you believe that the apostle Thomas was Jesus Christ’s twin brother?

(Image courtesy of GETTY) However, evidence from the Gospel of Thomas, which was discovered near Nag Hammadi, Egypt, in December 1945 – and which, unlike the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, John, and Luke, is not considered canonical despite being the oldest and dating back to 145AD – supports the idea that Thomas is Christ’s twin.

They were also recorded by Didymus Judas Thomas.” “Judas, who is also known as Thomas,” says the author of the original Greek translation.

(Image courtesy of GETTY) “Because you will be addressed as my brother, it is not appropriate for you to be unaware of your own abilities.” As explained by Bart Ehrman, a New Testament scholar from the United States, there is proof that Jesus had a twin – and that the person who was seen after the resurrection was Thomas, who has been misinterpreted for millennia as Christ rising from the grave.

  • Ehrman contested the following: “Syrian Christians believed in the second and third centuries that Jesus had a twin brother.
  • As for having a twin brother, I’m not sure how that could be possible, but that’s what the Syrian Christians said.
  • Thomas was given the nickname ‘doubting Thomas’ because he first did not believe in Christ’s miracles.
  • This is due to the fact that he is accompanied by his twin brother.” Following Jesus’ murder, Judas Thomas, along with everyone else associated with Jesus, fled into hiding, and he managed to flee from Judea.
  • The news spread that Jesus had risen from the grave.
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Some believe it was Thomas, rather than Christ, who was seen after the resurrection (Image: GETTY) “As the account of Jesus’ resurrection became more widely accepted, other stories about the event began to emerge and be related in oral traditions, including those about the disciples discovering an empty tomb,” says the author.

According to the site Bible Topic Expo, there would have been mention of it in the gospels if it had happened.

“The gospels of Matthew and Luke offer specifics about Jesus’ birth.” ‘Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea during the reign of Herod the Great,’ says Matthew 2:1.

When Herod died, an angel appeared to Joseph and informed him in Matthew 2:20-21, ‘Arise, take the Child and His mother, and journey into the country of Israel.’ He awoke and went into the country of Israel, taking the Child and His mother with him.

The three of them left Egypt, according to Matthew’s account. Because there was no twin brother of Jesus in Egypt, the family did not leave behind a sibling of Jesus.

Gospel According to Luke

Gospel With The Gospels According to Mark and Matthew, Luke is the third of the four New Testament Gospels (stories about Jesus’ life and death). He is also one of three Synoptic Gospels (stories about Jesus’ life and death) with the other two being Matthew and Mark (i.e., those presenting a common view). Traditionally, it has been attributed to St. Luke, known as “the loving physician” (Col. 4:14), who was a close colleague of St. Paul the Apostle. According to Luke’s gospel, Gentile converts are the intended audience: Christ’s genealogy is traced to Adam, the “father” of the human race, rather than Abraham, who is considered by Jewish scholars to be Abraham’s forefather.

  • St.
  • Luke the Evangelist) is a Christian author and evangelist who lived in the first century AD.
  • Luke, 975; now housed in the Gerona Cathedral (Spanish capital).
  • The Gospel of Luke is largely derived from that of St.
  • But there is significant overlap between the Gospels of Luke and Matthew that is not present in The Gospel According to Mark, suggesting that the two evangelists may have had access to a similar source.
  • After Matthew and Mark, Luke is the third and last gospel in the canonical order.
  • In spite of its resemblances to the other Synoptic Gospels, Luke’s tale has several elements that are unique to him alone.
  • It is also the only Gospel that has a description of the Ascension.
  • Luke’s Gospel is likewise unusual in that it is written from his point of view.
  • The book of Luke, as well as its sister book, Acts of the Apostles, present the church as God’s instrument of salvation on Earth throughout the time period between the death of Christ and the Second Coming of Christ.

John the Baptist; the epoch of Jesus’ ministry; and the epoch of the church’s mission, which lasted from the Ascension to the return of Christ. Those in charge of editing the Encyclopaedia Britannica Melissa Petruzzello was the author of the most recent revision and update to this article.

Were john and james brothers?

Justice Spinka posed the question. Score: 4.8 out of 5 (56 votes) James the Great is a historical figure who lived during the reign of James the Great. James the Great is a historical figure who lived during the reign of James the Great. Originally used to denote Saint James the Great (also spelled San Iago), the brother of John the Apostle. Santiago is also spelled San Tiago, Santyago, Sant-Yago, and San Thiago. It is derived from the Hebrew name Jacob (Ya’akov) through the names “Sant Iago,” “Sant Yago,” “Santo Iago,” and “Santo Yago.” Santiago (name) was the brother of John the Apostle, according to wiki.

According to the Synoptic Gospels, James and John were with their father by the seaside when Jesus beckoned them to come with him to be with him.

Are James and John related to Jesus?

It is believed that their mother was Salome, according to Christian legend. According to certain stories, Salome was the sister of Mary, Jesus’ mother, making Salome Jesus’ aunt, and her sons John the Apostle and James were Jesus’ cousins. Salome’s sons John the Apostle and James were also Jesus’ cousins.

Is the Apostle John the brother of James?

Salome was the mother of John, who was the son of Zebedee, a Galilean fisherman. Saint John the Baptist and his brother, St. James, were among the first disciples to be chosen by Jesus. When he is referenced in the Gospel of Mark, he is usually listed after James, implying that he was the younger brother.

What did James the brother of John do?

In addition to being the brother of John, this apostle James (because there were two) was a member of Christ’s inner circle of three, which also included Peter and John. He was the first apostle to be murdered for his Christian beliefs, having proclaimed the gospel following Jesus’ resurrection.

How many of the apostles were related to Jesus?

Either the Twelve Apostles are made up entirely of brothers of Jesus or the brothers of Jesus and the Twelve Apostles are two separate groups of men who follow Jesus. James Brother of Jesus and James Son of Alphaeus, according to the Eastern Orthodox and Protestant Christian traditions, as well as the majority of modern academics, are two distinct individuals. There were 16 questions that were connected.

Did Jesus have a last name?

When Jesus was born, there was no indication of his last name. He was known only by his given name, Jesus, and not by his biological father, Joseph, and while he acknowledged Joseph as his earthly father, he recognized a greater father from whom he was descended. Due to the fact that he was born of his mother’s womb, he is sometimes referred to as Jesus of Mary.

Who was the father of Jesus Brothers?

According to Epiphanius, Joseph became the father of James and his three brothers (Joses, Simeon, and Judah) as well as two sisters (a Salome and a Mary or a Salome and an Anna), with James being the eldest sibling and Simeon being the younger. James and his brothers were not Mary’s offspring, but rather Joseph’s children from a previous marriage who were raised by Mary.

Who is the 12 disciple of Jesus?

After waking up in the morning, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them to be apostles, as follows: Simon (whom he named Peter), his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called the Zealot, Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who later became a betrayer.

Who were two apostles James?

Two Jameses appear in the synoptic Gospels’ listings of the twelve apostles, and they are distinguished by their fathers: James, son of Zebedee, and James, son of Alphaeus. James, son of Zebedee is the elder of the two brothers. According to long-standing legend, James, the son of Alphaeus, was known as James the Less.

What did John the Baptist say?

His objective was to reach out to people from all walks of life and all levels of Jewish society. That God’s judgment on the world was impending, and that in order to prepare for it, the people should repent of their sins and be baptized in order to produce acceptable fruits of repentance, was the message he sent to the people.

Did John the Baptist write any books of the Bible?

In the New Testament, there are two people named John. John the Baptist and John the disciple of Jesus are two different people. John the disciple of Jesus penned the books of John, 1John, 2John, 3John, and Revelation, yet Jesus referred to John the Baptist – who did not write any books of the Bible – as the greatest prophet who ever lived, despite the fact that he did not write any books of the Bible.

What was Jesus’s wife’s name?

Mary Magdalene is the wife of Jesus.

Who is son of thunder in the Bible?

James and John, the brothers James and John in the Bible, are referred to as the “Sons of Thunder” (New Testament, disciples of Jesus)

Is James a saint name?

In both Spain and Galicia, St James the Greater is the patron saint, as he was born to Zebedee, was a disciple of Jesus Christ, and was eventually canonized as such. Saint James is known in Spanish as Santiago, and he is the patron saint of Guatemala, Nicaragua, and fishers, among other countries.

Why was James called just?

In recognition of his austere efforts, which included the signing of Nazarite vows, James was dubbed “the Just.” It also serves to separate him from other key personalities in early Christianity, such as James, son of Zebede, who shared his surname.

What does James the Greater’s name mean?

James, the son of Zebedee and Salome, is referred to as “the Greater” in order to separate him from the Apostle James, who is referred to as “the Less,” with more denoting older or taller rather than greater importance. John the Apostle’s brother, James the Great, was also known as James the Great. The other apostles were dissatisfied with their behavior.

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What happened to the disciples after Jesus died?

Since then, the disciples have taken on the title of Apostles (a Greek term that literally means “ones sent forth”), and Judas Iscariot, the betrayer of Jesus, has been succeeded by Matthias. Andrew and Peter were disciples of John the Baptist at the time they entered the army. They were instructed by Jesus to “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

Where did Jesus get born?

Bethlehem is located 10 kilometers south of the city of Jerusalem in the lush limestone hill area of the Holy Land, 10 kilometers south of the city of Jerusalem. Historically, people have thought that Jesus was born at the location where the Church of the Nativity presently stands (Bethlehem) from at least the second century AD.

Who was God’s prophet?

Muslims believe that Muhammad is unique among prophetic messengers and prophets in that he was appointed by God to be the prophetic message to all of humanity.

In addition, several of these prophets are mentioned in the texts of Judaism (the Torah, the Prophets, and the Writings), and Christianity.

Does Jesus have a son?

It is the contention of Jacobovici and Pellegrino that Aramaic inscriptions containing the words “Judah, son of Jesus,” “Jesus, son of Joseph,” and “Mariamne,” a name that they believe is associated with Mary Magdalene, together preserve the record of a family group that included Jesus, his wife Mary Magdalene, and son Judah.

What was Jesus’s occupation?

When Jesus was a young adult, there are a number of references to his working as a carpenter scattered throughout the New Testament. Historically, it is thought that he began his ministry at the age of thirty, following his baptism by John the Baptist, who recognized Jesus as the Son of God upon seeing him.

Who carried Jesus Cross?

(Mt. 27:32) As they were leading him away, they apprehended a man named Simon of Cyrene, who had come from the countryside, and they nailed the cross on his back and forced him to drag it behind Jesus.

What is Jesus full name?

It was written in Hebrew that Jesus went by the name of Yeshua, which translates to Joshua in English.

What Did Jesus Teach about Family?

Part of the What Did Jesus Teach? series, this essay explores the teachings of Jesus.

A Call to Forsake

While Jesus upheld marriage and blessed children, he conceived of the community of believers in terms of familial relationships that went beyond those of people’s natural family relationships, according to the Bible. The fact that Jesus calls people to follow him is one of the most dramatic, unique, and vital characteristics of his call to discipleship. Secondly, according to Jesus’ own words, “If anybody comes to me and does not hate his or her own father or mother or wife or children or brothers or sisters, or even his or her own life, he or she will not be my disciple.” 3 In accordance with Old Testament prophecy, Jesus did not come to bring peace, but rather a sword, “to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law,” as the Bible states.

  • And those who are a person’s foes are those who are members of his own family” (Matt.
  • When it came to his own personal experience with spiritual rejection, even within his own natural family (Mark 3:21; John 6:1–6; 7:1–9), Jesus was unwavering in his belief that the first and most important allegiance a person can have is to God the Father (Luke 2:49; Mark 3:31–35).
  • 9:5).
  • Matt.
  • Luke 5:2–11), the fishermen forsake their natural vocations and familial situations in order to follow Jesus.

Three such memorable instances are recorded in Luke’s gospel, in which would-be disciples of Jesus are unwilling to follow him unconditionally and are turned back, with the following instructions: “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God”; “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God”; and “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:

Renouncing Family Ties

In addition, all three of the Synoptic Gospels recount a wealthy young man’s reluctance to give up his possessions in order to follow Jesus, contrasting his reluctance with the disciples’ unwavering dedication to their Master (Mark 10:17–31 pars. Matt. 19:16–30; Luke 18:18–30). Peter expresses his gratitude to Jesus for leaving everything behind in order to follow him, and Jesus responds by promising that “no one who has left house, brothers and sisters, mother and father, children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses, brothers and sisters, mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life” (Mark 10:29–31, and pars.).

  1. Jesus himself established the standard by frequently renunciating his own natural familial connections when they were in conflict with his higher spiritual commitments, as he did throughout his life.
  2. How could you have forgotten that I needed to be in my Father’s house?” (See Luke 2:49.) Later in his ministry, Jesus rebukes his mother and later his brothers for failing to see the divine timing that was at the heart of his mission (John 2:4; 7:6–8).
  3. When he was informed that his family was waiting for him outside, he responded with a theatrical gesture, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” he said.
  4. As Jesus said, “Whoever accomplishes the will of God is my brother, sister, and mother” (Mark 3:31–35 and pars.
  5. According to the evidence, Jesus’ mother and (at least some of) his brothers did, in time, recognize their obligation to place their family claims on hold in order to serve and worship Jesus as their Saviour, and this appears to have occurred (e.g., Acts 1:14; but see earlier Luke 1:46–47).

The Larger Context of Kinship

Even though there are other examples (see Luke 11:27–28 and John 19:26–27), the implications of Jesus’ teaching on discipleship are quite evident. Rather than teaching a gospel that exhorted Christians to regard marriage and family 6as their highest priority—despite the fact that marriage and family 6have a clearly important position in God’s goals for humanity—Jesus placed natural familial relationships in the greater framework of God’s kingdom. 7 When it comes to normal human relationships, Jesus reinforced them in Mark 10:8–9, as well as the need of honoring one’s parents (Mark 10:8–9, 19 par.

It is possible that a person’s devotion to truth can cause conflict rather than peace in his or her natural family (Matt.

8 However, while Jesus put people’s commitments within the greater framework of God’s kingdom, this should not be interpreted as implying that Christians should ignore their familial responsibilities.


The spiritual principle that following Jesus should be every Christian’s first priority continues to hold true, and where this puts an individual in conflict with his or her natural family obligations, the individual must seek first God’s kingdom and his righteousness before focusing on his or her natural family obligations (Matt.

  1. Notably, Gordon P.
  2. To learn more about the ancient church as a family, read Joseph H.
  3. (2) Stephen C.
  4. However, read John Barclay’s insightful analysis and critique in Studies in Christian Ethics, vol.
  5. 1, 1996, pp.
  6. Luke 14:26; compare Matthew 10:37: “loves father or mother/son or daughter more than I.” 4.
  7. Richard S.

Daniel Carroll R.

Francis’s description of Acts 1:14 as “a reaffirmation of familial bonds” (in an otherwise great piece) strikes us as a little odd.


Barton’s “Biblical Hermeneutics and the Family,” Family in Theological Perspective, 10–16; as well as Nicholas Peter Harvey’s “Christianity against and for the Family,”Studies in Christian Ethics, vol.

1, (1996): 34–39; and the response by Linda Wood 7.

See, for example, Stephen C.

Green, Scot McKnight, and I.


Though Westfall, “Family in the Gospels and Acts,” 146, may create an unnecessarily stark dichotomy when she writes, “However, Jesus did not intend the family to be the most important institution on earth or the central unit of a Christian’s identity and purpose,” she may be correct in her assessment.

Andreas J.

Jones contributed to this work.

Jones is a professor of Christian ethics at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, as well as the director of the ThM program and the assistant dean for graduate program management at the seminary.

He presently resides in the Raleigh, North Carolina, area with his wife and five children, whom he adopted as youngsters.

Köstenberger (PhD, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) is the director of the Center for Biblical Studies at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, as well as a research professor of New Testament and biblical theology at the same institution.

He is the creator of Biblical Foundations, a ministry committed to rebuilding the biblical foundations of the home and the church. He has a bachelor’s degree in business administration. Köstenberger is married to his wife, and they have four children.

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