The Word This Week

James 1:1...

Imagine for a moment being Jesus’ brother.

As startling as that prospect may seem, Jesus did have both brothers and sisters. (See Matt 13:55-56.)

(Of course, all Jesus’ brothers and sisters were in truth only half-brothers and sisters, as Jesus was conceived of the Holy Spirit.)

But we can at least attempt to imagine what it must have been like growing up in that household. Children of the flesh intermingled with the perfect Child - Jesus - Who even then was the Christ. Perfection mixed with imperfection under one roof.

It must have been quite something. While every child is different – and moms and dads are charged with not showing favoritism for one child over another - it is reasonable to assume this One perfect child in their midst would be hard to ignore because of His perfection. We can know Jesus NEVER did anything wrong, or even slightly wrong, and from a brother or sister’s perspective that was probably very tough to handle.

Perhaps a degree of jealousy within the family in the growing-up years explains why Jesus’ brothers – at least initially – did not believe in Him. (See John 7:5.)

Unfortunately, due to the manner of portraying biographical data in ancient writing styles – in which the only bio information presented was that which described the most important occurrences in the subject’s life – we know very little about Jesus’ growing-up years. Almost nothing. We only really have insight into Jesus’ birth – of which much is written, though we would love to know more – and then the incident when Jesus became separated from His family as they returned home with their entourage from the Passover feast at Jerusalem not realizing twelve-year-old Jesus had stayed behind to parry with the teachers at the Temple. (See Luke 2:41-50.)  

Other than these brief snippets, we really know nothing of Jesus’ upbringing other than the fact He was a perfect Child, He had brothers and sisters, and at some point, his earthly adoptive father Joseph died.

And now, we come to James – who was one of Jesus’ half-brothers. He became known as ‘Old Camel Knees,’ because he spent so many hours each day in prayer, and it is said his knees had become enlarged and calloused and resembled the knees of camels. Can you imagine all that must have been going through James’ mind and heart as he spoke with his resurrected Brother now in heaven with His true Father?

Pastor Bill