This morning Jon Bloom at the Desiring God blog posted a great post on Jesus' family and the hope that us believers that have unbelieving family can gain from it.
I personally have quite a bit of my immediate family that is not saved: my mom, brother, and half-sister; plus most of my extended family is not saved. I sometimes despair that so many that are close to me are so far from God. That and I don't have very good relationships with them and live so far away from them so I cannot develop those relationships and share the Gospel with them. However, I do have an aunt (my dad's sister) who has been a believer for many years and my dad who only came to Christ a few years ago.
Now, back to the block. Knowing that Jesus' family lived with him for 20-30 years before they were saved, is comforting. They had the witness of the very Son of God and were still hard-hearted gives me comfort for a couple of reason:
- I am not Jesus (obviously!), so, it may take longer with my witness
- Jesus' family was finally saved, so, there is hope for my family
I do pray for my family. My mom's side of the family is all Irish-Catholic, so there is a sense that they know about Christ, but only enough to inoculate them to the true Gospel of God's free grace. Many of them also were so burned by the weighty responsibility of Catholicism inherent legalism, that they want to have nothing to do with Christianity in general. So, I pray that there I eye's would be opened to the true Gospel and the beauty of Christ in it. I also pray for my brother and sister who are, because of my mom's feelings, were raised with little to know influence of any form of Christianity and both have a spirit of complete rebellion against anything that would place any kind of restrictions on their freedom. Ultimately, though, I serve a God who is sovereign and I know that He can turn even their stony-hearts to hearts of flesh.