Not Even His Brothers Believed
3 His brothers, therefore, said to Him, “Depart from here and go into Judea, that Your disciples also may see the works that You are doing. 4 For no one does anything in secret while he himself seeks to be known openly. If You do these things, show Yourself to the world.” 5 For even His brothers did not believe in Him. (John 7:3-5, NKJV)
Not Even His Brothers Believed
We know from Scripture who Jesus’ brothers were. After the miraculous virgin birth, Mary and Joseph had other children. In Nazareth, the people asked incredulously:
And when the Sabbath had come, He began to teach in the synagogue. And many hearing Him were astonished, saying, “Where did this Man get these things? And what wisdom is this which is given to Him, that such mighty works are performed by His hands! Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us?” So they were offended at Him. (Mark 6:2-3)
Jesus’ brothers had grown up with Him. They surely must have noticed that He never sinned. He never lied to get them in trouble, never snuck out after curfew, never stole their stuff. Plus, they’d seen His incredible works. But they still don’t believe in Him. This was prophesied in the great Messianic Psalm 69:
Because for Your sake I have borne reproach;
Shame has covered my face.
I have become a stranger to my brothers,
And an alien to my mother’s children; (Psalms 69:7-8)
It won’t be until after the resurrection that they believe in Him. And once they believe, they will become leaders in the church. Remember when Paul told the Galatians of his trip to Jerusalem, he said,
But I saw none of the other apostles except James, the Lord’s brother. (Galatians 1:19)
Another brother was named Judas, or Jude. The epistle of Jude was written by him:
Jude, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, (Jude 1:1)
So it would seem that he, too, was a half-brother of Jesus. Paul says, in 1Corinthians 9:
Do we have no right to take along a believing wife, as do also the other apostles, the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas? (1 Corinthians 9:5)
This shows us that the brothers became very active in their faith, even to the point of being traveling evangelists and missionaries.
A Silent Witness?
So Jesus’ brothers saw Him living a sinless life, but didn’t believe until they were witness to the resurrection. What does that say to us? It says that the Christian concept of simply being a “silent witness” is unbiblical. Somewhere along the lines, someone decided that you did not have to say anything to preach the gospel. That if you were just a smiley, friendly, happy person, then people would get saved by watching you. Well, I hate to break the news to you, but there is always going to be some unsaved person that’s smilier, friendlier, and happier than you. Jesus never gave the great commission as “Go into all the world and be friendly to all creation.”
And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. (Mark 16:15)
Paul never said, “I presumed to do nothing among you but smile and be happy.” No, he said,
For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. (1 Corinthians 2:2)
Jesus friendly, happy, good-natured life didn’t get His brothers saved. It was His crucifixion. John Courson says, “You can wave to your neighbor for twenty years and wave him right into hell.” If you are not preaching the gospel, they are not hearing the gospel.
And of course, this doesn’t discount the fact that we must ALSO consider our silent witness. If we’re verbally witnessing of Christ, but in life are living like the world, we will negate the message.