For even His brothers did not believe in Him. – John 7:5
It was time for Israel to celebrate the Hanukkah holiday, for it was winter time, the time of the Festival of Dedication. Jesus’ natural brothers wanted Him to take the disciples to Jerusalem, so they could witness His miracles. In a way they were taunting Him and provoking Him to reveal Himself, possibly as Messiah, before it was time to do so. However, His brothers didn’t believe in Him as Messiah despite their attempts at goading Him. (They would later believe, as James authored one book of the Bible.)
In one part of the life of Jesus, this band of brothers and their mother, Mary, came looking for Jesus to speak with Him. When the apostles approached Him and said they were looking for Him, Jesus replied that His family are the ones who do the will of the Father. In another passage where we read of His teaching in His hometown, Jesus said that a prophet is not without honor except in His hometown.
Those around us that we call family are most likely the ones that are the hardest to reach with the love, mercy, grace, and compassion of Jesus. They knew us from the moment of birth until now and know all our past habits, bad and good. They prejudice us based on those past performances and knowledge rather than trust in the good work that God began in us and will perform to its completion.
I encourage any and all true disciples of Jesus to stand strong and heed the words of Paul in putting on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand in those days of antagonism. Jesus could have allowed Himself to be drawn into a family squabble as to why He should or shouldn’t have gone to the festival. Instead, He addressed family with a short, concise response that silenced them gracefully.
No matter what may be happening around you in life, know this. God watches over you and the lost. He will provide for your daily needs if you seek Him first above all else. God has you engraved on the palm of His hand. Nothing or no one can snatch you away from Him. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit believe in you, as His son. He will never leave you or abandon you. Continue to trust in God, draw near to God, humble yourself before God, and see the salvation of God work in your life. You can do it. Be not afraid nor dismayed, for God is with you.
Father, thanks for being there for me all the time. There are days, as You know, where I don’t even have courage in myself let alone consider what You’ve done and do for me or other people in my life. I am so glad that YOU are the Rock of my salvation, the Rock on which my life is built, the corner Rock that anchors my life and the Rock upon which I’ve fallen and been broken in order to be reshaped in Your image. You have called and chosen me as one of Your own. People may doubt me and distrust me, but I know assuredly that You trust me and believe in me. Let men liars, but let You be ever truthful. I trust in no other but Jesus! May Your will be done in my life and not any other. In Jesus’ name, Amen.