U Turns

Have you ever taken the wrong exit? Today’s navigational systems make staying on course a little easier though Mapquest has led me astray a time or two. Then there is the GPS in my husband’s car that can’t seem to figure out Spanish street names and leaves us driving in circles while we fumble for our iPhones.

This month, I want to drive through the Holy Lands and tour the Easter story. Here, the camera is often focused on Jesus though we get snapshots of Pilate, Herod, Caiaphas, and the disciples. We see photos of the women at the tomb Easter morning. We see Jesus’ mother at the cross when he entrusts the disciple John with her care.

Missing from the family photo? Jesus’ brothers and sisters.

Matthew 13: 55-56 tells us of four brothers and an unknown number of sisters. Yet Mary sits at the cross alone. John 7:5 (NIV) records:

“For even his own brothers did not believe in him.”

However, as the book of Acts gets rolling, they make an appearance in the upper room.

“They (the disciples) all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.” (Acts 1:14 NIV)

Two brothers, Jude and James, go on to write New Testament books. As we see in later passages of Acts and Galatians, James becomes one of the leaders of the Jerusalem church.

What happened?

What caused the eye-rolling, “prove it to me” younger brothers to make such a change?

Better yet, reflect on the grace that makes such U turns possible.

This week, thumb through the books of James and Jude and examine their themes: unbelief, a call to persevere, practical obedience, humility, prayer.

Can you picture the family reunion?


When have you made a spiritual U turn?

What caused you to turn around?

What caused Jesus’ brothers to take the wrong exit?

Have you struggled with unbelief in an area?

How did you move past it?

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