John 7: 5
For not even His brothers were believing in Him.
It has been said, “A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing.” No one proved this statement to be true better than Jesus’ own brothers. They were born of the same mother, raised by the same father, yet blind to the truth in front of them. Honestly though, it’s hard to say that I could blame them for being skeptical about their half-brother’s claims to be the Christ. After all, they were first introduced to the prophecies concerning a coming Messiah at the same time. They grew up together, ate dinner together, and most likely shared the same bedroom. Now Jesus, their older brother, was claiming to be this Christ.
Unfortunately, not much has changed today. Many times, those that have the most difficult time accepting Christ as their Savior are the same individuals that have grown up closest to the Church. They have godly mentors, are active in Sunday School, have become versed in the Bible and doctrine, yet remain miles away from truly understanding the person of Jesus. The difference between those who simply know about the Lord and those who believe in Him can often times be found in their fruit.
The fruit that is produced from a tree is dictated not by its surrounding environment, but from its inner makings. An orange tree in the center of an apple orchard will still produce oranges. In the same manner, individuals who grow up in the church and are taught the stories of Jesus, yet fail to truly believe, will never be able to produce the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5). It is with this knowledge that I challenge you to evaluate your own fruit. Does the outcome of your day-to-day living support your claims to know Christ? Or does your fruit more closely resemble that of Christ’s own brothers… so close, yet miles away.
My prayer is that everyone who reads this will find his or her name written in the Lamb’s book of life. I want to remind you, however, that just because you know a great deal about who Jesus was, that does not place you in His book of life. Only a personal belief in Jesus as the Christ will save you from your sins. The book of Acts records that James, the brother of Jesus, eventually came to the conclusion that Jesus was the Christ. His conversion was not on account of growing up so close to Jesus, but rather, because of His personal decision to believe that his brother was who He said He was. Do you believe?