This Weekly Devotional connects to the current Adult Sunday School series. Although it is related to the Sunday School curriculum, it is also designed to be meaningful to everyone.

Jesus, the Rejected King

November 30, 2023

John 7:3-5 NIV Jesus’ brothers said to him, “Leave Galilee and go to Judea, so that your disciples there may see the works you do. 4 No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world.” 5 For even his own brothers did not believe in him.

At the heart of this passage lies the fact that Jesus’ own brothers did not believe in him as the Messiah. Despite witnessing his miraculous works and growing recognition, they remained unconvinced. This raises important questions about the tension between family and faith. As Christians, we are called to follow Jesus, even when it means going against the wishes of our loved ones. This can be difficult, but it is ultimately necessary if we are to be faithful. Why did Jesus’ own family members struggle to accept his divine identity? There are several reasons why the tension between family and faith can be so intense. First, our families often have their own expectations and plans for our lives. They may not understand or support our desire to follow Jesus, especially if it means making sacrifices or taking risks. Second, our families can be a source of great comfort and support. We may feel like we are betraying them if we choose to follow Jesus in a way that conflicts with their wishes. Third, the tension between family and ministry can be a source of great guilt. We may feel like we are letting our families down or that we are not being good enough Christians. We are enjoying peace that they do not understand.

So, how do we overcome the tension between family and faith? First, we need to remember that Jesus is our ultimate family. He is the one who loves us unconditionally and who will never forsake us. Second, we need to communicate openly and honestly with our families about our faith. We need to help them understand why it is important for us to follow Jesus, even when it means making sacrifices. Third, we need to be patient and understanding with our families. It may take time for them to come to terms with our decision to follow Jesus. Finally, we need to pray for our families. We need to ask God to give them the strength and wisdom to accept the peace that comes with following Jesus themselves.

If you experience tension with those close to you regarding your faith or beliefs, how do you deal with it??
How can you strengthen your relationship with God and your family?
Why do some of those close to you have doubts? Are you helping them understand?

Prayer: Dear Lord, we thank you for your love and grace. We thank you for calling us to follow you, even when it is difficult. We pray for the strength to overcome the tension between our family and our faith. We pray for the wisdom to know your will for our lives. We pray for the courage to stand up for what is right, even when it is difficult. We pray for the love to forgive our family members and to show them the love of Christ. Amen.