Tuesday, 20 December 2011

The five brothers

"Isn't this the carpenter's son? Isn't his mother's name Mary, and aren't his brothers
James, Joseph, Simon and Judas . . . aren't all his sisters with us?" - Matthew Ch. 13.

Once, a long time ago, there were five brothers. Their names were Simon, Joseph, James, Judas and Jesus. Perhaps they resembled each other in general appearance. Maybe they even had the same way of walking; the same way of talking; the same general demeanor. It can happen in families. Who can say? It was a long time ago. But it is not totally unlikely with so many brothers in one family that two or three might favour each other. Perhaps Joseph looked liked Jesus. Maybe Simon? Perhaps Judas? Who can say? Someone, probably Jesus*, was nailed to a cross, an infamous Roman torture instrument. He died. Then he came alive again. He walked. He talked. He went to secret meetings. Or maybe it's just possible that this man was one of the brothers? Perhaps it was James; a case of mistaken identity? Or maybe those bloodthirsty Romans and baying Jews had been given a patsy; a fall guy; an impostor? Who can say? It must have been somewhat confusing; five brothers . . . all looking much the same; long curly hair, thick beards, and wrapped-up in cloaks. Who can say? In all the confusion, in the crowded city . . . in those interesting times. I'm not saying it was so. Only that the possibility of error (however remote) exists. That's all. Now don't get me wrong. I'm not discounting miracles. After all there was an earthquake. And the dead did rise from their graves and walk. This is reported in the Gospel of Matthew. Who am I to disagree? I wasn't even there. It was a long time ago.

*Jesus was identified by a kiss. Not by fingerprints or DNA.


  1. Hi Pat,
    I have to ask why weren't we told about the five brothers, or about Mary's two Josephs, or the impossibility of the stationary star astronomical event when we were children? Why were we spoon fed all the propaganda along with the Christmas pudding?


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