The Forward Day by Day Meditation for February 4, 2016
John seems surprised that even Jesus' brothers didn't believe in him. Of course they didn't. Had the evangelist never met any siblings? If a prophet never has any respect in his hometown, what about the Messiah, who must explain the kingdom of heaven to people who saw him in diapers? Some scholars argue that this passage refers to Jesus' cousins rather than actual brothers, but either way, Jesus' wandering around talking about his father in heaven must have caused some eyerolling among the relatives.
For me, this experience makes Jesus' Incarnation seem more real. It reminds me that Jesus was a real man with a real family. His family loved him, teased him, watched him grow up. The story about how he wandered off during the trip back from Jerusalem and was found in the temple lecturing the priests was probably pulled out at family gatherings until everyone was sick of hearing it. He was one of us, God incarnate whose death and resurrection remain a holy mystery, and a kid with brothers who messed with him, whose parents were proud when he took his first steps.
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