David Jeremiah (may-14-2022) Daily Devotional: The Difference: James and Jude
For even His brothers did not believe in Him. - John 7:5
Recommended Reading: John 7:1-9 - 1 After these things Jesus walked in Galilee; for He did not want to walk in Judea, because the Jews sought to kill Him. 2 Now the Jews’ Feast of Tabernacles was at hand. 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. 6 Then Jesus said to them, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always ready. 7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil. 8 You go up to this feast. I am not yet going up to this feast, for My time has not yet fully come.” 9 When He had said these things to them, He remained in Galilee.
When Jesus encountered people, His presence often made an instantaneous difference. On other occasions, it took time. Take our Lord’s family. Despite living with Him in Nazareth, His brothers didn’t believe He was the Messiah. Yet after His resurrection, how the Lord used them!
Paul talked about the ministry of “the brothers of the Lord” in 1 Corinthians 9:5. His brother James became the leader of the church in Jerusalem (Acts 12:17), and later wrote the epistle of James, which sounds very much like the teachings of the Lord Jesus. His brother Jude wrote a book exhorting us to contend for the faith.
If you’re discouraged about close friends or family members, remember the Bible tells us to “always pray and not give up” (Luke 18:1, NIV). The Lord can make a difference in the lives of those we love, though it sometimes takes longer than we’d like. If His influence could transform His unbelieving brothers into soldiers of the cross, He can do the same for those we love.
Oh, for the eyes of our heart to be opened to see God working in ourselves and in others, and to see how blessed it is to worship and just to wait on His salvation! - Andrew Murray