For not even His brothers believed in Him.
Imagine the deep personal strength of Lord Jesus. His own brothers won’t believe Him and thus must consider Him a liar. It is they and their mother, as described by Mark, who made an effort to put a stop to His ministry in its infancy. (Mark 3:20-21, Then He went home, and the crowd gathered again so that they were not even able to eat. When His family heard this, they set out to restrain Him, because they said, “He’s out of His mind.”). It’s not enough that Jesus will face criticism and obstruction from those He does not know intimately, but even those who knew Him best would not believe. They sought to stop Him and publicly called Him crazy. As Michael Card so brilliantly sings, ‘even His family said He was mad and a priest said a demon’s to blame’. Family can be cruel to its own.
How would we fare if even our family rejected us and our mission? I have friends whose families have strongly questioned their judgment about venturing into foreign mission fields. These friends have had to bear the criticism and sadness of their families with mothers weeping on the phone at the announcement of extended stays. It is gut wrenching and difficult. My respect for those who leave everything familiar and venture into foreign areas for the sake of the Gospel is great. They are truly faithful soldiers who, like Lord Jesus, are listening and obeying Father God above all others regardless of the earthly ramifications. Their reward will be great. The cost is high.
Lord Jesus knew this at a deeply personal level. His mother thought He had lost His mind. His brothers didn’t believe and goaded Him. The religious authorities feared Him and sought His demise secretly. His own followers doubted and eventually betrayed Him, leaving Him alone to die. Yet, the promise of His Father sustained Him and thereby ushered Him and those who will follow Him into glory. It is mind boggling.
Father God, give us the resolve of our Lord Jesus to lean on Your Holy Spirit and hold to Your Word and promise above everything earthly. Give us the strength of Jesus to endure to the end that we might be in Your Presence of glory and joy into eternity.