When we think of Jesus’ disciples, we often picture the twelve men that he chose to follow him during his ministry. However, there were others who also followed Jesus and played important roles in spreading his message. Some of these individuals were even members of his own family.
One group of people that often gets overlooked is Jesus’ brothers. Yes, you read that correctly – Jesus had siblings!
According to the Gospel of Mark, Jesus had four brothers: James, Joseph (also known as Joses), Judas (also known as Jude), and Simon. He also had an unspecified number of sisters.
But who were these brothers? And what role did they play in Jesus’ ministry?
James is perhaps the most well-known of the brothers. He is mentioned several times in the New Testament and is believed to have been a leader in the early Christian church. In fact, he wrote one of the books in the Bible – the Epistle of James.
Joseph and Judas are mentioned a few times in passing but don’t play a major role in any stories or events. Simon is only mentioned once, when he is listed alongside James as one of Jesus’ brothers.
It’s unclear exactly when Jesus’ siblings became his followers, but we do know that at least some of them did eventually become disciples. In fact, James was one of the key figures at the Council of Jerusalem, where early Christian leaders debated whether or not Gentile converts needed to follow Jewish customs and laws.
Despite their close relationship with Jesus, it’s worth noting that his brothers didn’t always believe in him. In fact, John’s Gospel tells us that “not even his brothers believed in him” (John 7:5). It wasn’t until after his resurrection that they fully embraced his teachings and became part of his movement.
In conclusion, while we may not know everything about Jesus’ brothers and their relationship with him, it’s clear that they played an important role in the early Christian church. James, in particular, was a key figure and his writings continue to be studied by Christians today. So the next time you think about Jesus’ disciples, don’t forget about his brothers who also played a vital part in spreading his message.