Did Jesus have brothers and sisters? – Daily Monitor

did-jesus-have-brothers-and-sisters?-–-daily-monitor

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Summary

  • FYI. St. Jerome reasons that Joseph and Mary remained virgins, that from a virgin wedlock a son was born. 
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By Msgr John Wynand Katende


“Isn’t this the carpenter, the son of Mary, a brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon?  Aren’t his sisters our neighbours here?” (Mark 6:3). Basing on this text, among others, some Christians claim that Mary bore children other than Jesus. Yet, basing on the same texts and tradition, Catholics believes that Jesus was Mary’s only child and that she remained a lifelong virgin.

Early Church fathers, like Ignatius, Polycarp, Irenaeus, Justin Martyr, interpret the term “brethren.”, within the Hebrew context; which has no word for cousin, nephew, or uncle. Genesis 13:8 describes Abraham and Lot as brothers, yet, they were nephews. 

All Jews are brethren by race. Jesus calls his disciples brothers and sisters (Matthew 12: 48). The 120 “brothers” in Acts 1: 15 did not have the same mother. Under God, human beings are brothers and sisters (Ephesus 4:5-6). Africans should easily understand this explanation. 

Mark 15: 40, actually, clarifies that James and Joses were the sons of o that from a virgin wedlock a virgin Son was born and brought upMary of Cleophas. John 20: 25 describes Mary of Cleophas as Mother Mary’s “sister”. Hence, James and Joses were cousin brothers of Jesus. 

Luke 1: 26-38 is very clear that Mary was a virgin at the time she conceived Jesus, through the power of the Holy Spirit, but no mention is made of her and Joseph ever having other children after Jesus. 

When Matthew 1: 24-25 says that before they came together Mary was found with child, by power of the Holy Ghost, he intends to indicate the time immediately preceding marriage, and shows that matters were so far advanced that she who had been betrothed was on the point of becoming a wife. It does not follow that they had intercourse after the birth of Jesus.

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(Jerome)

Mary made her unconditional “Yes” to God, under condition of her vow of virginity (Luke 1: 38). St. Jerome reasons that Joseph and Mary remained virgins, “so that from a virgin wedlock a virgin Son was born and brought up”. Joseph’s virginity earned him the title of “father of the Son of God”, and of the Church.

In God’s plan of salvation, Joseph would be more of a guardian than a husband to Mary. Wife is, however, commonly used in Scripture to give the title to those who are betrothed (Deuteronomy 22: 24-25). The Virgin Mary conceived after she was betrothed to Joseph, to establish her descent from David. Secondly, that Mary might not be stoned as an adulteress, in accordance with the Mosaic law. Thirdly, to preserve the reputation of Mary. 

The mention that Joseph and Mary had no sexual union with each other until the birth of Jesus, may denote time without limitation. For example, Jesus’ promise to be with His disciples until the end of time (Matthew 28: 20), does not imply that there would be a time when this would cease. He is now seated with them in heaven! (Matthew 19: 28). 

When God gives a mission, He first gives the grace to fulfill it (2 Peter 1:3). God chose Joseph because he was a righteous man (Matthew 1: 19). He possessed theological virtues of faith, hope and charity, as well as the cardinal virtues of justice, prudence, temperance, and fortitude. Knowing Mary’s status the temple of the Holy Ghost and Mother of the Son of God, Joseph must have felt bound to regard Mary’s vow of virginity with the utmost respect (Matthew 1: 18-25). 

Matthew 1: 25 describes Jesus as the first-born Son of Mary. The Book of Numbers 18: 15 clarifies “first-born male child” as being neither as one who has been preceded by none, nor, as he whose birth is followed by another. In His last will, Jesus entrusted Mary to the care of His disciple, John, implying non-existence of a blood brother (John 19: 25-29).

Did you know?

Matthew 1: 25 describes Jesus as the first-born Son of Mary. The Book of Numbers 18: 15 clarifies “first-born male child” as being neither as one who has been preceded by none, nor, as he whose birth is followed by another. In His last will, Jesus entrusted Mary to the care of His disciple, John, implying non-existence of a blood brother (John 19: 25-29).

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