Saturday, February 16, 2019

Jesus' Family (John 20)

While I am on song, I might as well write on Jesus' family. I thank You Lord for Your revelation to me is wonderful and You are an awesome God...After Jesus rose again, He told Mary Magdalene to go tell "my brothers" (adelphous) that I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God" (John 20:17). And the next verse tells us that Mary Magdalene went and told the disciples that she had seen the risen Lord and that He had said these things (20:18). It is clear that Jesus' brothers were not his natural brothers but his disciples as the parallelism in John 20:17-18 indicates. Significantly, it is not recorded that Jesus calls His disciples, "brothers" until this juncture.
Apparently, Jesus' ascension completes Jesus' mission on earth, that is to form a community or family of believers who believe in Him as the Messiah and the Son of God (John 20:31) with God as Father of them all and Jesus as the unique or only-begotten (monogenes cf. John 1:18). If Jesus is the elder brother and the disciples as Jesus' brothers including Mary, his earthly mother and Mary Magdalene who first witnessed Jesus' resurrection - these are Jesus' siblings who along with Jesus call God their God and Father. No wonder Paul and Peter usually addressed God as "God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ". Lest we think Jesus is lesser than God, John's Gospel makes clear that Jesus as the Son is also fully God. Thomas who missed the earlier revelation of the risen Jesus had another chance and he exclaimed worshipping Jesus as "My Lord and my God" (John 20:28). In Jesus' third appearance after His resurrection He came to his disciples at a beach and Jesus called them, "Children" (paideia) [John 21:5] - "Children, have you anything to eat?" As risen Christ and as One in whom dwells the Father as "the Son is in the Father and the Father is in the Son", Jesus rightfully calls his disciples His children. Jesus' disciples are not just his brothers (20:17) but also his children because only in Jesus one can see the Father and know Him as God.

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