Jesus' Brothers

Who were Jesus' brothers & sisters

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John 7:3-21 Jesus' Brothers


JOHN 7:3-9  3 His brothers therefore said to Him, “Depart from here and go into Judea, that Your disciples also may see the works that You are doing. 4 For no one does anything in secret while he himself seeks to be known openly. If You do these things, show Yourself to the world.” 5 For even His brothers did not believe in Him. 6 Then Jesus said to them, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always ready. 7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil. 8 You go up to this feast. I am not yet going up to this feast, for My time has not yet fully come.” 9 When He had said these things to them, He remained in Galilee.

Who were Jesus' "brothers" (John 7:3)?
The sons Mary had with Joseph after she had given birth to Jesus, "her firstborn son." (Matthew 1:25)

What were the names of Jesus' brothers?
"James, Joses, Simon, and Judas" (Matthew 13:55).

Did they believe in Jesus?
Acts 1:14 says that Jesus' disciples "all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers." So Jesus' brothers eventually became believers and one of them, James, even became a Christian leader. But that's after Jesus' resurrection. Here, they "did not believe in Him" (John 7:5), considered Him to be an embarrassment to the family and are taunting Him to "Depart from here and go into Judea" (John 7:3) and "show Yourself to the world." (John 7:4)

Did Jesus say that He wasn’t going to go to the feast?
No, He said He wasn’t “yet” (John 7:8) going.

JOHN 7:10-14  10 But when His brothers had gone up, then He also went up to the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret. 11 Then the Jews sought Him at the feast, and said, “Where is He?” 12 And there was much complaining among the people concerning Him. Some said, “He is good”; others said, “No, on the contrary, He deceives the people.” 13 However, no one spoke openly of Him for fear of the Jews. 14 Now about the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and taught.

Why did Jesus go to Jerusalem "in secret" (John 7:10)?
The Jews were trying to kill Him and "sought Him at the feast." (John 7:11)

If Jesus came to die, why not get captured and killed?
He not only had to die, but die for the right reason and at the right time. He still had six months to go for that.

What effect do you think His brothers going ahead had?
"There was much complaining among the people concerning Him" (John 7:12). And the Jews were asking, "Where is He?" (John 7:11) So when Jesus' brothers arrived first and spread the word that Jesus wasn't coming to the feast, the Jews probably lifted whatever trap they may have laid for Jesus.

When He does arrive, does Jesus remain hidden?
No, He went right "into the temple" (John 7:14), whose large crowd could hear His message and make it tricky for the Jews to arrest Him without cause, "and taught" (John 7:14).

JOHN 7:15-19  15 And the Jews marveled, saying, “How does this Man know letters, having never studied?” 16 Jesus answered them and said, “My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me. 17 If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority. 18 He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true, and no unrighteousness is in Him. 19 Did not Moses give you the law, yet none of you keeps the law? Why do you seek to kill Me?”

What kind of study were the Jews referring to in John 7:15?
Rabbinic studies.

What did that consist of?
Aspiring rabbis had to memorize the first five books of the Old Testament - Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy - by 13 years of age, then be tested by a rabbi for their memorized knowledge. Those who passed the test studied under the rabbi, often in rabbinic schools. Once they learned all that the rabbi could teach them, their rabbinic studies were deemed completed and they were ordained as rabbis with the authority to have and teach their own disciples.

So what are the Jews implying?
Since Jesus wasn't taught under a rabbi, His doctrine must be something that He made up on His own.

How does Jesus respond in John 7:16-19?
His doctrine comes directly from God the Father, and those who truly seek after God instead of their own glory will recognize that. As for the Jews, they don't even keep the doctrines handed down through Moses since they're trying to kill Him in violation of the Commandment not to commit murder.

JOHN 7:20-21  20 The people answered and said, “You have a demon. Who is seeking to kill You?” 21 Jesus answered and said to them, “I did one work, and you all marvel.

Why did the people think that Jesus had "a demon" (John 7:20)?
Unaware of their leaders' murder plot against Jesus, they thought He was paranoid or possessed for saying that there was a plot to murder Him.

What "one work" (John 7:21) made them marvel?
The last time Jesus was in Jerusalem, He had healed by the pool of Bethesda a man "who had had an infirmity thirty-eight years" (John 5:5). Because this healing had taken place on the Sabbath, they had been angry with Him in their misperception that He had broken the Sabbath.

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