Editor’s Note: I am currently blogging through my book Easter: Fact or Fiction, 20 Reasons to Believe Jesus Rose from the Dead. That book is available on Amazon by clicking the picture or link below. Please check it out! (Scroll down for links to the other parts to this post) (CLICK HERE FOR THE AMAZON LINK)
“The Jewish Festival of Tabernacles was near, so His brothers said to Him, “Leave here and go to Judea so Your disciples can see Your works that You are doing. For no one does anything in secret while he’s seeking public recognition. If You do these things, show Yourself to the world.” (For not even His brothers believed in Him.)
Jesus told them, “My time has not yet arrived, but your time is always at hand. The world cannot hate you, but it does hate Me because I testify about it—that its deeds are evil. Go up to the festival yourselves. I’m not going up to the festival yet, because My time has not yet fully come. “After He had said these things, He stayed in Galilee.
After His brothers had gone up to the festival, then He also went up, not openly but secretly.” John 7:2-10
“Then He went home, and the crowd gathered again so that they were not even able to eat. When His family heard this, they set out to restrain Him, because they said, ‘He’s out of His mind.’ Then His mother and His brothers came, and standing outside, they sent word to Him and called Him. A crowd was sitting around Him and told Him, “Look, Your mother, Your brothers, and Your sisters are outside asking for You.’
He replied to them, “Who are My mother and My brothers?” And looking about at those who were sitting in a circle around Him, He said, “Here are My mother and My brothers! Whoever does the will of God is My brother and sister and mother.’ “Mark 3:20-21; 30-34.
I still give my sister, Channing, a hard time about it. When I was about 13, and she was 7, I had her convinced that I was He-Man, the incredibly powerful champion of justice and foe of Skeletor on television. The way I convinced her was quite simple. I would take a medium sized rock, and ‘throw’ it high into the air, all the while never letting go of the rock. As her eyes followed the supposed trajectory of ‘thrown’ rock, I would surreptitiously slip it into my pocket. Then we would go for a long walk to look for the rock’s landing place. A few hundred yards later, I would deftly slip the rock out of my pocket, let it fall on my shoe (so as to not make noise) and then I would walk away until she actually found the rock. When she did, she would come away with the idea that I, her brother, could throw a rock over 500 yards, and therefore, as I explained to her, I was He-Man. QED. It is sort of easy to fool a seven year old with such tricks, it is quite another thing to fool an adult. Especially one that is fed up with you, and doesn’t hold you in nearly the same esteem level as everybody else does.
As the Scriptures show at the beginning of this chapter, Jesus had several run-ins with His family during His public ministry. He had a dispute with His brothers about going to the Passover, at which point He rebuked them about being too focused on worldly ideals. More seriously, at some point during the early part of Jesus’ ministry, Jesus mother and brothers came to where He was teaching and tried to “restrain Him.” Because they thought He had gone crazy. Yes, Jesus dealt with much of the same family drama as the rest of us do, though I can honestly say I don’t think my family has ever tried to have me committed for being crazy. At least not yet.
Enemy attestation is a fancy way of saying that whatever positive thing your enemy says about you, is likely true. For instance, a group of my critics might say, “That Chase Thompson, boy is he trouble. His hair is unkempt, he dresses funny, he eats enough cereal for five elephants, and preaches way too long…but, he does have good ears, so don’t talk about him behind his back.” Chances are, if all of that is said, then I really do have good hearing. Positive things your enemy says about you are strong testimonies.
Along those lines, we read in 1 Cor 15 that Paul mentions by name three eyewitnesses of the risen Jesus (Paul himself, James the brother of Jesus, and Peter) Two of those witnesses began as enemies of Jesus’ ministry: James, the brother of Jesus, who apparently wanted to have Him committed to a loony house; and Paul, who was a persecutor who breathed out murderous threats against the church, ultimately presiding over the murder of Stephen, the first martyr. Peter himself rejected Jesus before His death. Keep in mind too, that Jesus was worshipped as the risen savior by at least TWO of His brothers since the author of the penultimate book of the Bible, Jude, was also likely the (half) brother of Jesus. And yet, post-resurrection, all of these men did a dramatic and life-long 180, worshipping Jesus and declaring Him as the resurrected Son of God at the COST OF THEIR OWN LIVES.
If you can get your brother (i.e. James) to worship you as God…then that might be the best example of enemy attestation in world history! If you don’t believe me, go and try to convince your adult sibling, who has known you all of their lives, that you are something so special that you stand out above all of humanity. Good luck! …(Continued in the book)
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Links to the other 20 posts in this series (20 Reasons To Believe Jesus Rose from the Dead)