What happened to Jesus’ siblings?

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John 19:25 Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved (John) standing beside her, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.” 27 Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home. 

It never ceases to amaze me how, after many readings of the bible, I can still find things I’ve never seen or noticed before. This morning is an example. First, there are the women named Mary standing near the cross. There’s Mary, Jesus’ mother. There’s Mary (the wife of Clopas) his mother’s sister (two daughters named Mary in one family?), Then Mary Magdalene. Interesting. Lots of Marys here, in the same family no less!

Then there’s v.27. In Mark chapter 6 we’re told that Jesus had several siblings:

Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?”

In our passage from the gospel of John, Jesus does something you might expect from an only child, asking a non-blood relative (John) to take his mother into his home. But in Mark’s gospel we see that Jesus had lots of siblings, including at least four brothers and at least two sisters. Jesus being the oldest son, at his death one would expect the next oldest son to take his role as caretaker of mother. Instead Jesus gives that job to John. Jesus did lots of unconventional things, so okay.

But what’s really puzzling is that, once named in Mark chapter 6, we never hear about Jesus’ siblings again. They appear to have nothing to do with Jesus or their mother Mary who accompanies Jesus. No explanation is given. Not sure why I never noticed that before, but there it is.

Lord God, thank you for your living word. Give us grace to continue discovering new things as we commit to our study of scripture. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

One thought on “What happened to Jesus’ siblings?

  1. Marcie Sandall

    Thanks for doing the homework we all should be doing, delving into scripture and being blessed for our efforts. You are a blessing for those of us who read your devotions/blogs.
    Thanks again.
    Marcie Sandall

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