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Family business

I saw none of the other apostles; only James, the Lord's brother. Galatians 1.19

Whatever their views about him before his crucifixion, Jesus' family eventually put their faith in him. His brother, James, emerged as leader of the early church and his mother, Mary, was among those who witnessed his death and resurrection. Indeed the last thing that Jesus did was to pair up his mother and the "beloved" disciple, so that they would look after each other.

Rather than interpreting remarks about his family as deprecating, it might be fairer to recognise that, in referring those who followed him as sisters and brothers, Jesus was elevating his disciples. In the church it is said that the water (of baptism) is thicker than the blood (of kinship). Again this is not to disparage those whose genes we share but to celebrate the quality of fellowship we should expect from our spiritual family.



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