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Did you know that Mary and Joseph had other children after Jesus was born? They had four other sons and at least two daughters! One of their sons was named James and one was named Jude.
So that means James and Jude got to grow up in the same house as Jesus, and they probably played together as children! How cool is that?!
But even though James and Jude got a very close look at everything God was doing through Jesus, they still didn’t really Believe and Trust Jesus — at first.
Once Jesus was grown up and started healing people and teaching people about God, for a little while, James, Jude, Jesus’ other brothers, and even Mary thought that Jesus was getting out of control!
Jesus had crowds and crowds following Him, squeeeeezing around to hear Him talk. Sick people were following Him, squeeeeezing around trying to touch Him to be healed. Even mean people were following Him, squeeeeezing around trying to trap Him into saying something wrong. Sometimes there were so many squeeeeezing people crowded into a house that Jesus couldn’t even find a way to eat!
When Jesus’ mother and His little brothers heard this was happening, they decided to go find Jesus to try to stop Him. They said, “He’s out of His mind. He’s going crazy!” So, off they went to go find Jesus. (Ooooo… Bad idea, huh? We need to let Jesus do whatever He wants! If Jesus WANTS TO BE that crazy-good kind of Trouble, we need to Let Him Be!)
But Mary and the brothers went to go stop Jesus. When they found Him, there were so many people squeeeeezing around Jesus that His mother and brothers couldn’t even get close enough to talk to Him. They had to send someone else in to try to get Jesus for them. A message started passing through the crowd… “Hey! Tell Jesus His mother and brothers are outside looking for Him.” “Pssst! Pass the message. Jesus’ mother and brothers are wanting to talk to Him.”
Finally, the message got to Jesus: “Your mother and brothers are outside looking for You.”
Do you know what Jesus said when He heard that? He said, “WHO are My real mother and My brothers?” Then He looked at the people seated in a circle close around Him who had been listening to Him and wanting to learn more about God. He motioned to them and said, “YOU are My mother and My brothers! Whoever does God’s will is My brother and sister and mother.”
When that message got passed back to Mary and the little brothers… How do you think they felt? Do you think that could have felt like a little owie, a little sting?! Maybe? They maybe even got offended because of hurt feelings.
Of course, Mary knew Jesus was from God, but she still had to learn to Trust Him, no matter what, just like we all do. You, me, Mary, James, Jude… we all have to learn to trust, even when it hurts or we don’t understand what’s happening.
Jesus later pointed out that it’s hard for people in your own household to recognize when God is doing something Special in you. They just think of you as their “big brother” or their “little sister” or their “little brother” — just someone they used to play toys with. Jesus was still surprised at them not believing Him though. Of all people, they should have Seen and Believed.
That wasn’t the end of the story for James and Jude though. We don’t know exactly when they started to See and Understand Jesus for who He REALLY was, but we know from the Bible that they DID start to Believe and Trust Him.
In fact, later on, after Jesus rose from the dead and went up to Heaven, we know James and Jude ended up both being Followers of Jesus. And they helped other people learn how to follow Jesus better. They also both wrote down encouraging letters about following Jesus that are now in the Bible.
Do you think when they would talk about Jesus to other people, that they would boast to them and say, “We got to grow up with Jesus. He’s our brother.” Nope. Instead they said, “Jesus is Lord! We are His humble servants!”
So now James and Jude WERE obeying God. And do you remember what Jesus said about people who obey God? He said, “Anyone who does God’s will is My Mother or Sister or Brother.“ So Jesus didn’t just call James and Jude His “servants,” but now He called them His “Brothers” too! His REAL Brothers! Just like anyone who does what God wants!