Jesus’ Family Portrait

And His mother and brothers came to Him, and they were unable to get to Him because of the crowd.  And it was reported to Him, “Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, wishing to see You.”  But He answered and said to them, “My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it.” (Lk. 8:19-21 NASB)

This statement of Jesus has always confused me, so I’ve spent more time than I probably should thinking it through.  I’m going to provide both the surface thought, which is probably more important, and a “subsurface” thought which can be easily disposed of if you disagree.

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Wait, he’s who again?

Absalom set Amasa over the army in place of Joab. Now Amasa was the son of a man whose name was Ithra the Israelite, who went in to Abigail the daughter of Nahash, sister of Zeruiah, Joab’s mother. (2 Samuel 17:25 NASB)

Have you ever listened to some guy’s story about somebody he knows, and after getting lost in the details realize he has no idea who this guy is either?  The basic issue here is that Abigail’s and Zeruiah’s father wasn’t Nahash but Jesse (or was supposed to be).  That made Joab David’s nephew, which may be the only reason David let him live.

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