1After this, Jesus traveled around Galilee. He wanted to stay out of Judea, where the Jewish leaders were plotting his death.2But soon it was time for the Jewish Festival of Shelters,3and Jesus’ brothers said to him, “Leave here and go to Judea, where your followers can see your miracles!4You can’t become famous if you hide like this! If you can do such wonderful things, show yourself to the world!”5For even his brothers didn’t believe in him.
6Jesus replied, “Now is not the right time for me to go, but you can go anytime.7The world can’t hate you, but it does hate me because I accuse it of doing evil.8You go on. I’m not going to this festival, because my time has not yet come.”9After saying these things, Jesus remained in Galilee.
Jesus’ brothers obviously not only don’t believe in him, but are taunting him and you get the sense they are hoping he will somehow fail. Let’s be honest, this doesn’t sound like a close and supportive family! And imagine for yourselves growing up with a brother who literally never did anything wrong. It could cause a lot of tension and maybe you would be hoping he would mess up, just once anyway.
So if Jesus had some strained family relationships, should we expect the same? Being a Christian, loving Jesus first and allowing him to change you, it can be very divisive. Be ready for it. Never stop loving those around you, and treat them with the love and the kindness that the Holy Spirit can fill us with, but don’t expect following Christ to make all your family relationships wonderful. It might make them worse.
Lord, never let me respond to rejection or strife with anger or hatred but always with your loving kindness. Keep me faithful to you and give me the strength to never waiver from following you, even if pressured by those closest to me. *obbs*