When Brothers Don't Believe in You

LeRoy Koopman

READ : John 7:1-13

“For not even his brothers believed in him” we read in verse 5. They should have, don’t you think? After all, they had grown up with him. They should have realized that he was truly extraordinary.

Were Jesus’ brothers in fierce competition with each other? Kids who grow up together are often so busy competing with each other that they don’t recognize greatness in each other. “Prophets are not without honor,” said Jesus, “except in their own country and in their own house” (Matt. 13:57).

There could be another factor here that gives us insight into the person of Christ. Jesus’ childhood and, indeed his entire life until about age thirty, was really quite uneventful. The most extraordinary incident recorded in the gospels is that of the twelve- year-old Jesus asking profound questions in the temple significant to be sure, but certainly not earth-shaking. At age twelve a lot of kids ask deep questions about God.

Jesus’ early years passed without miracles, a halo, or a white robe. As far as we know, Jesus had to study in school like everyone else, lost in games, got bumps when he fell, and cried when stung by bees. Our Savior was, after all, a real human being.


Help us, Lord, to recognize greatness, because often it’s close at hand.