1After this, Jesus went around in Galilee, purposely staying away from Judea because the Jews there were waiting to take his life. 2 But when the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles was near, 3 Jesus’ brothers said to him, “You ought to leave here and go to Judea, so that your disciples may see the miracles you do. 4 No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world.” 5 For even his own brothers did not believe in him.
6 Therefore Jesus told them, “The right time for me has not yet come; for you any time is right. 7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that what it does is evil. 8 You go to the Feast. I am not yet going up to this Feast, because for me the right time has not yet come.” 9 Having said this, he stayed in Galilee.
10 However, after his brothers had left for the Feast, he went also, not publicly, but in secret. 11 Now at the Feast the Jews were watching for him and asking, “Where is that man?”
12 Among the crowds there was widespread whispering about him. Some said, “He is a good man.”
Others replied, “No, he deceives the people.” 13 But no one would say anything publicly about him for fear of the Jews. 
Yesterday’s text focused on struggling with the “failure” of people not believing the gospel, the fact that even though Jesus may be shared winsomely and lovingly, some people will not believe. In today’s passage we see that in Jesus’ own family. His brothers did not believe in Him. In fact they mocked Him. Another time, along with mom, they went looking for Him, kind of a family intervention because they thought He was crazy (Mark 3:31-35).
It’s hard when there are people in your own family, people you care about — whom you were raised with, or who raised you, or whom you raised – do not share your faith. Sometimes the struggle centers on having very different values and priorities. Sometimes it’s about being unable to share the peace and hope that you have. And of course there are the eternal implications. In some cases, believers have to put up with what Jesus experienced from His brothers, mockery.
Two thoughts come to my mind as I think about this text. One is that Jesus himself knows this struggle. So when unbelief in your own family is weighing on you, keep in mind that Jesus himself experienced it as well. And like I said yesterday, our witness may be flawless, but still some will not believe.
The other thought is one of hope. This isn’t the end of the story for Jesus’ family. After the resurrection, at least some of His brothers came to faith (Acts 1:14). In fact His brother James becomes a leader in the Apostolic church and is the author of the letter of “James” in the New Testament. So this encourages me to keep praying, keep being faithful by word and deed. The story isn’t over yet.
So my prayer today is for those in my own family who do not trust in Jesus as Savior. But I’m also praying for others that I know, those in our church, who also have family members who do not know the faith. May God bless our witness, and may the Father draw them to Jesus.
 The Holy Bible: New International Version. 1984 (Jn 7:1–13). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.