I’ve Met Jesus’ Sister, and so have You!

Did you know that Jesus had a sister?  You know, I really hadn’t thought about it much.  However, in the last year with the controversy that Dan Brown’s book The DaVinci Code sparked, folks have actually taken a look at such things.  Well, what do we know about Jesus’ family?

The story of Jesus’ birth told in the New Testament reveals that Jesus’ birth was a miracle.  Mary was chosen by God and called by an angel to carry a child conceived by the Holy Spirit.  Joseph, realizing that he was not the father, was going to cancel his engagement to Mary quietly.  An angel appeared to him and convinced him to marry Mary anyway.

From here the details of the story are more sketchy.  So, what do we know?  We know that Mary had more children, sons at least, and that we don’t see any other evidence of Joseph beyond that.  The assumption is that, after the birth of Jesus, Mary & Joseph had several other sons and then at some point, probably prior to Jesus’ public ministry, Joseph died.

Mary shows up in the Gospels on several occasions, most notably at Cana of Galilee when Jesus performed a miracle at her request and at Jesus’ crucifixion.  But, there is another reference to Jesus’ family that includes a reference to Jesus’ sister, however. 

In the opening chapters of the Gospel of Mark, Jesus is shown beginning His ministry of teaching, healing and delivering those possessed by demons.  Crowds of people flocked to him from all over the area.  Then Jesus’ mother and brothers also show up.  Jesus is in a building, probably a home, teaching a group of people crowded around him.  His family, unable to enter the building, are left standing outside.  Someone conveys to Jesus the message, “Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you” (Mark 3:32 NIV). 

Jesus said, “Who are my mother and my brothers?”  Then He looked at those seated around Him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers!  Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.” (Mark 3:33-35 NIV)

Now this doesn’t mean that Jesus didn’t respect his family.  We see that Jesus, later, while He was being crucified, specifically made sure that His mother, Mary, would be cared for after His death and resurrection.  The point that Jesus is making is that you and I can be part of His family!  Anyone who chooses to follow God’s purposes, which includes accepting Jesus as God’s Son and our Savior, is Jesus’ brother, sister or mother.

So, do you know someone who is pursuing God’s purposes in her or his life?  That person is Jesus’ sister or brother!  Chances are, you know Jesus’ brother and probably His sister too!

But a more important question is:  Are you doing God’s will?  If you are, guys, you are Jesus’ brother!  Ladies, if you are, you are Jesus’ sister! 

(Maybe the next topic I write about should be “The need for humility!”)

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4 Comments

  1. marlajayne said,

    January 3, 2008 at 10:45 am

    Great post. I’ve never doubted that I am His sister even in those moments when I might not be doing God’s will. I’m not a huge sinner (no murder, adultery, drug use, etc), but I’m like most folks in that I need to work harder at loving my neighbor as myself, giving more time and money to worthy endeavors, being less judgmental, and the list goes on and on and on. I’m working on being a better sister.

  2. Bill said,

    January 3, 2008 at 11:01 am

    Thanks for the comment.

    Yes, I think for many of us knowing and doing God’s will in the day to day is the challenge. I am trying to grow in this area by first, making sure that I am daily trusting in Christ who died for my sins. Then I am reading the Bible looking for specific ways I can do what God created me to do.

    As I do this, I find that I gain a new appreciation for who God created me to be. I find grace and forgiveness, which give me strength to continue to seek God and His ways.

    Thanks for sharing your goal of “working on being a better sister” – you’ve challenged me to want to be a brother He is glad to claim!

    Bill

  3. Carole said,

    July 23, 2009 at 11:53 pm

    But, there is another reference to Jesus’ family that includes a reference to Jesus’ sister.

    I know that I am one of Jesus’ sisters, but please can you tell me where the above reference to Jesus’ sister is, in the Bible, as this could be confusing to a new believer who reads your comments.

    • Bill said,

      September 2, 2009 at 3:17 pm

      Jesus said, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” Then He looked at those seated around Him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.” Mark 3:33-35


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