No one knew the heartbreak of being rejected by family more than Jesus. As the “oldest” brother (who was ALWAYS perfect), His other brothers grew up in His quiet shadow with little understanding of His true nature. When Jesus began His public ministry, there was a decided rejection and pullback from those siblings. John 7:1-8 says
After this, Jesus went around in Galilee. He did not want to go about in Judea because the Jewish leaders there were looking for a way to kill him. But when the Jewish Festival of Tabernacles was near, Jesus’ brothers said to him, “Leave Galilee and go to Judea, so that your disciples there may see the works you do. No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world.” For even his own brothers did not believe in him.
Therefore Jesus told them, “My time is not yet here; for you any time will do. The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that its works are evil. You go to the festival. I am not going up to this festival, because my time has not yet fully come.”
If you are the first person in your family to fall in love with Jesus, you and He have a lot in common. Your family will NOT BE ABLE to understand your new nature. At times they may love it! At other times, they will feel like you’re judging them, condemning them, and simply being a religious hypocrite around them. The problem is they knew you before Christ, and they have ALL the dirt on you. Satan can have fun with that and pull all kinds of strings against you, BUT God’s not caught off guard. HE is your Father, and He’s had the same feelings toward you as He had toward His Son. It’s time to dig in and pray for your family!
On the other hand, you may have come from a family with lots of Christians. You’ll simply have to start working up the “tree” to find those who are still not in “THE FAMILY.” Consider yourself blessed, and know that “to whom much is given, much is required.” Your biological family can be a great source of ministry momentum. Be sure you pray WITH them for the names on your list!
Family Prayer List:
But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, …
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.