Monday in the Fourteenth Week of Ordinary Time

John 7:1-10

When Even Family Members Disregard You

Today’s passage illustrates a remarkable truth that many of us live everyday and wonder why.  Here, we see that Jesus remained in and around Galilee avoiding Judea because the Jews were seeking to kill him.  We might suggest that Jesus did this for reasons of self-preservation, but the Bible gives us the divine reason: His time had not yet come.  John says this about Jesus in several places that we might understand that all things happen according to our Lord’s timetable and not ours.

So here Jesus is with his brothers, half-brothers actually, but brothers, nonetheless.  These men had lived with him under the same roof.  They had the opportunity, time and again, to observe his sinless behavior and to witness his gracious conduct.  And yet so blind are the eyes of sinful man, so hardened his heart, that he can neither see nor believe the truth standing directly in front of him.  Unregenerate men abide in darkness all their days until reborn by the Holy Spirit of God (John 3:19-21; Ephesians 5:8), and so the command, “Ye must be born again” (John 3:3-8).  They even taunt him: “Show yourself to the world.”  And then come those sad words, “For not even his brothers believed in him.”

Have you discovered yet how hard it is to witness to your own family?  Have you observed how readily they disregard what you have to say, how they don’t want to hear it?  Or perhaps they goad you into pointless arguments or “politely” taunt and mock you, perhaps under their breath as unto themselves, but loud enough so that you will hear.  If so, welcome to the club!  Even our Lord experienced this.  Isn’t that remarkable?  His own brothers didn’t believe in him (John 1:11).  And if they wouldn’t believe in Jesus when he walked so perfectly among them, why should we be surprised when members of our own family won’t listen to us when we walk so imperfectly (to say the least) among them?  It’s a sad truth but many Christians experience this painful reality.  More than anything else, they want to see their brother, sister, mother, father, come to saving faith in Christ.  They might even think that it is their own fault.  It’s not.  Man is born in darkness and only God can rescue him.  So I make these suggestions: 1) Don’t get into arguments.  Speak only when the Lord gives you opportunity.  2) Pray that the Lord will send someone else to witness to them.  So what if they won’t listen to you!  Perhaps they’ll listen to someone else.  3) Pray that the Lord will use you to witness to someone else’s family member who won’t listen to them.  That way you return the favor you hope is rendered to you.

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