JESUS AND HIS FAMILY
Names of Jesus’ siblings (Matthew 13:53-56; 12:46-50)
After the birth of Jesus, Joseph and Mary had other children, both boys and girls. The boys were James, Joses, Simon and Judas. The names of Jesus’ sisters were not mentioned.
Jesus obeyed his parents (Luke 2:51-52)
In accepting to become the child of Joseph and Mary, Jesus knew that he had to be obedient and disciplined if he was to grow up in the fear of the Lord and become a responsible person in the future.
Jesus grew up to become an obedient, disciplined and hard-working child. He obeyed all instructions given to him. He was very respectful to his parents and polite to all other people in the community. He helped his parents to do all the household work. He never told a lie and he was honest in all that he said and did. Everybody spoke well of him.
Jesus attended the synagogue school in Nazareth. This was the place where his parents and other Israelites or Jews worshipped on the Sabbath; but on week days, it was used as a classroom. The children were taught how to read and write. They were also taught everything about God’s dealing with their forefathers beginning with the call of Abraham. They learnt about the important festivals of the Jews and the reasons for celebrating them. Some of these festivals were: The Passover, the Feast of Tabernacle and the Feast of Pentecost. They were also taught about God’s Law and how this was important in maintaining good relationship with God and with one another.
At the age of twelve, Jesus graduated from the synagogue school. Because he was obedient to his teachers and hardworking, he had no problem in being successful in his final examinations. He was given the title: Ben Torah which means: ‘Son of the Law’. This was the title given to all Jewish children who successfully completed their synagogue education.
Jesus Christ becomes a Carpenter: (Mark 6:3) Joseph was a carpenter and Jesus helped him with his work. He helped him to make tables, chairs, beds and toys for the people.
Because he was obedient and disciplined, he quickly learnt everything about carpentry. Very soon, he qualified as a good carpenter. When Joseph died, Jesus took over the carpentry work. He was very good at his work and everybody liked all the furniture and toys that he made. As a result, he was able to earn enough money to feed Mary and other members of the household.
Jesus’ understanding of: ‘Family’ (Matthew 12:46-50)
One day Jesus was preaching. After some time he was told that his mother and brothers asked to speak with him. Jesus used the occasion to teach about his , true family, that is the: ‘Family of God’. Therefore, Jesus asked:
“Who is my mother and who are my brothers?”
Jesus then turned towards his disciples and said:
“Behold my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of God the same is my brother, sister and mother ”
Thus, the true family of Jesus is composed of: ‘Those who do the will of God’. They are obedient, respectful, humble, loving, kind and hardworking. They put God first in everything. They put all their trust, hope and confidence in God.
By telling us who his true family is composed of, Jesus was not trying to disown his earthly family. He was only laying emphasis on the true family of God which is based on good morals rather than mere physical relation.
Religious Guidance and Counselling
- God wants you to use the childhood life of Jesus as a role model: We all want to use the childhood of Jesus as a role model because it will help us to succeed and prosper in life. But it is not that easy. The good news is that Jesus, our Lord and Saviour knows all our weaknesses and is ready to help us to use his life as a role model for success and prosperity. Therefore, you should call upon Jesus to give you God’s spiritual power to use his childhood life as a role model so that you will all succeed and prosper in life.
- God wants you to belong to the true family of Jesus: To belong to the true family of Jesus is not easy. It means we have to use our own effort to be obedient and righteous, so that we can be respectful, humble, loving, kind, forgiving, and hardworking all the time. We also have to use our own effort to put God first in everything. Finally we have to rely on our own strength to put all our trust, hope and confidence in God all the time. But none of us can do that successfully by relying on our own effort. Only Jesus, our Saviour, can help us do that. Therefore, you should all call upon Jesus to help you do that so that you can belong to his true family.
Religious and Moral Lessons
- Jesus was an obedient and disciplined child, and this helped him become successful both at school and as a professional (carpenter). You must learn to call upon Jesus to help you to be obedient and disciplined so that you may be successful with your studies and with your future work as a professional.
- Jesus took care of his family with the money he earned from his work. You must learn to pray to Jesus to help you take care of your family, be responsible to your country and people, when you start working.
- Jesus distinguished himself as a professional (carpenter). You must learn to call on Jesus to help you distinguish yourself in your profession when you grow up.
- Members of Jesus’ true family are those who do the will of God. You must learn to ask Jesus to help you do the will of God so that you can become a member of his true family.