The Perfect Sibling

Matthew 13, verses 53-58 tell of the lack of faith Jesus encountered when he went back to his hometown.  They saw him as “just” Jesus. 

Matthew 13:55-56

“Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas?  Aren’t all his sisters with us?  Where then did this man get all of these things?”

I’m taking this as yet another sign that something may be wrong with my brain, but the reference to brothers and sisters caused me to pause.  Can you imagine what that would have been like?  I mean, did Jesus ever throw a temper tantrum because he was served peas with dinner and he detested peas?  I think not.  Jesus was without sin, so he wouldn’t have lied, he would have always respected his parents and he certainly wouldn’t have stayed out late with friends getting into mischief.

Then my mind drifted to what life must’ve been like for His siblings.  Were they jealous because they could never be as good as Jesus?  Or did it not bother them because they knew Jesus was God’s son?  Did the siblings ever argue with Jesus?

Then my mind wandered further.  (Oh, a wandering mine is a dangerous thing…when it’s my mind, that is.)  I imagined current day sibling situations as they would have been experienced by Jesus’ siblings.


Jesus’ sibling walks down the street when someone calls out, “Hey, isn’t that Jesus’ brother (sister)?  What’s his (her) name again?”


<sibling to parents:> “You guys like Jesus better!  You act like he’s perfect or something.”  <stomps out of room>


“How come three wise men didn’t bring gifts when I was born?”


<Mary to sibling:> “It’s so nice how you helped old Mrs. Yamin draw water from the well.  Did you hear how Jesus fed thousands with one loaf of bread?”


“Mom,” (drawn out into three syllables) “Jesus is turning water into wine again!”

Yes, being Jesus’ brother or sister would have been tough.  If you have a sibling, be thankful that he/she is just as imperfect as you are 😉  I know I am!


25 thoughts on “The Perfect Sibling

  1. 1959duke May 1, 2011 / 5:50 AM

    Its like going through life when people don’t even know your name. I am often referred to as Nance’s husband.

    • jannatwrites May 1, 2011 / 8:16 PM

      I know how you feel, Duke. I’m known as my kids’ mom. I’ve actually introduced myself that way at school functions.

  2. Tori Nelson May 1, 2011 / 8:28 AM

    Turning water into wine again… Haha! This is such a clever post!

    • jannatwrites May 1, 2011 / 8:19 PM

      Thanks, Tori. I had hoped that my post wouldn’t come off as disrespectful, because I really am curious about how His family life and early years were. I see such competition with my kids, my mind just had to go there.

  3. nrhatch May 1, 2011 / 8:34 AM

    I love how your mind works and wanders, Janna. 😀

    • jannatwrites May 1, 2011 / 8:24 PM

      Thanks, Nancy. Sometimes my wanderings seem strange to me, so I could only imagine how frightened others might be!

  4. dorcas May 1, 2011 / 1:30 PM

    Awesome Janna… A thousand likes. 🙂

    • jannatwrites May 1, 2011 / 8:24 PM

      Aw, thanks, Dorcas! I’m glad you enjoyed my ponderings about Jesus’ early family life.

  5. Debbie May 1, 2011 / 1:31 PM

    I never looked at it this way, Janna — thanks for a different perspective! It must have been rough being one of Jesus’ siblings (like life in general wasn’t rough enough back then!) Only someone who’s grown up with siblings — or who’s had more than one child — can fully appreciate situations like these!

    • jannatwrites May 1, 2011 / 8:32 PM

      I think the reason my mind rested on this was because my own kids argue/fight with each other and compete for our attention from the moment they wake up until the moment they go to bed – and each one has accused us of liking the other one better.

      Thanks for stopping by, Debbie 🙂

  6. carldagostino May 1, 2011 / 1:45 PM

    Most miss the dramatic impact that verse has on theology contradicting today’s understandings of Jesus. His contemporaries saw no divinity. His contemporaries knew there was no virgin birth. Just a regular person with a powerful message albeit from God. Actually Jesus does not take on Messiah-ship until the last year of his life.

    • nrhatch May 1, 2011 / 2:33 PM

      Excellent point, Carl.

      Some of the “truths” shared by the Christian Church over the years have been “stretched” to suit its purposes. 😀

    • jannatwrites May 1, 2011 / 8:43 PM

      If I remember correctly, Jesus didn’t start his ministry until he was in his late twenties/early thirties, so I imagine that society didn’t see him differently until that time. However, Mary and Joseph knew who Jesus was from the beginning, so I had to wonder if their family life was impacted because of this. It’s also likely that the siblings could have sensed something different (siblings are very perceptive.)

      The feeding 5,000 with a loaf of bread and turning water into wine didn’t happen until he was ministering, but I just used those examples here because they are familiar events.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts, Carl!

  7. knotrune May 2, 2011 / 1:55 AM

    I have also wondered about this 🙂 It’s amazing that Jesus was perfect and without sin. He must have had amazing charisma though, so I think He must have been genuinely humble and nice. I imagine He would have been a great brother, unless you wanted to be naughty 😉

    His childhood would have been very different depending on the Catholic or Protestant interpretation of the fact of His siblings though. The Catholics maintain that Mary remained a virgin and therefore His siblings were older step-siblings, Joseph’s children by a previous marriage, while the Protestants have no problem with May and Joseph making babies after Jesus was born, so He would have been the eldest, not the youngest. It makes a big difference to a child! 😀

    • nrhatch May 2, 2011 / 9:41 AM

      Interesting how “history” changes depending upon which faction of the church is discussing it. 😀

      • jannatwrites May 2, 2011 / 7:58 PM

        I look at it more as a difference in interpretation than history changing. As far as I’ve seen, the Bible isn’t specific about Joseph’s past or the birth order of Jesus and his siblings, so either interpretation could be correct – we don’t know.

    • jannatwrites May 2, 2011 / 7:51 PM

      I’m not Catholic, and it hadn’t occurred to me that Jesus’ siblings would have been Joseph’s from a previous marriage. That’s a different perspective to keep in mind as I do read. I do agree that birth order does affect personality, so it does make me curious 🙂

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Knotrune. You gave me something else to think about!

  8. Carol Ann Hoel May 2, 2011 / 6:23 AM

    You know, Janna, I never even thought about it. I knew he had brothers and sisters, but I didn’t think about the fact that he would have grown up with them. Think about this: Jesus couldn’t win those in his home town, but he won his family. They lived with Jesus. They knew he was different. The sweet, sinless, gentle, and loving brother and son, Jesus.

    Great post, Janna. I wonder why I never thought of this aspect of the life of Jesus. Thank you for shedding light. Blessings to you…

    • jannatwrites May 2, 2011 / 8:05 PM

      I do think that Jesus’ family was on his side, even when the outside world wasn’t because that’s generally how families are. I suppose it’s possible that they didn’t support him, but I prefer to think that they did.

      Thank you for stopping by, and I’m glad you liked the post, Carol 🙂

  9. SAS Fiction Girl May 2, 2011 / 2:39 PM

    Many years ago, I went to Busch Gardens (Williamsburg) where there are thousands of people walking around. I had just arrived and was headed for the Loch Ness Monster when a guy I’d never seen before walked right up to me and asked me where my brother D. was. I don’t look like my brother, so how this kid knew we were related, I don’t know.

    • jannatwrites May 2, 2011 / 8:16 PM

      That’s so strange, Jen. That would have freaked me out a little, but then, I am a bit paranoid.

      When we lived in a small town, I was known as my grandma’s granddaughter. Strangers would talk to me like they knew me (since I was so shy, I didn’t say much back to them.)

  10. pattisj May 3, 2011 / 4:59 PM

    I never gave much thought to Jesus’ interaction with His siblings, either. This is one reason I love blogging, it’s an opportunity to really find out what others are thinking. Thanks for stirring the pot.

    • jannatwrites May 3, 2011 / 9:00 PM

      You’ve probably not given it much thought because it’s just speculation and doesn’t matter 🙂 My mind tends to go that way though…wondering as it wanders!

      Thanks for visiting today, Patti.

      • pattisj May 3, 2011 / 9:26 PM

        I think it’s wonderful your mind does work like that. Being left-brained is so boring! LOL

        • jannatwrites May 3, 2011 / 9:34 PM

          Aw, you’re too nice. Usually my thinking is called ‘weird’, so ‘wonderful’ is a pleasant change!

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