Read: John 7:3-5
I wonder what the expectation for the oldest child was in a Jewish family. In one resource it said, “Sons, especially the firstborn, were the guarantee of lineage and the promise of maintaining family holdings.”* Jesus’ announcement to his family that he was leaving the business and going into ministry was likely met with a certain level of hostility. He had responsibilities as the oldest son.
I have many friends and acquaintances who work as families in business. Some children follow their parents and continue the business. Others decide to follow dreams that don’t include the family business. A tough decision, to be sure.
Read: Mark 10:29-31
Jesus had just encountered the rich young man who walked away sad when Jesus told him to sell everything he had and give it to the poor. He admitted the decision to follow such drastic advice was indeed difficult, but not without its reward both here and in eternity.
What have you given up that feels really drastic? Jesus knows what it feels like to make an unpopular decision and to face hostility as a result. Sit with him a minute. Psalm 62 talks about waiting quietly before God, confessing that he alone is our rock and salvation, our fortress where we won’t be shaken. Allow these words to sink into the deep parts of your experiences and bring victory and honor.
*Dictionary of New Testament Background, Ed. Craig A. Evans and Stanley E. Porter, Intervarsity Press, 2000.