Rightly so, when it comes to the ministry of Jesus Christ, He gets the attention and credit. Nonetheless, there is also an amazing underlying storyline that is often overlooked: Jesus came from a ministry family. In fact, without the ministry of His extended family, Jesus did not have a ministry. Jesus’ uncle and aunt were named Zechariah and Elizabeth; he was a rural priest (in that day, basically a small town pastor), and she came from generations of ministers. They were both godly, filled with the Holy Spirit, and faithful to God’s call on their life according to the Scriptures.
Zechariah and Elizabeth raised Jesus’ cousin, John the Baptizer. John’s ministry was as a prophet. His ministry only lasted a few months before he was beheaded for calling a political leader to repent of adultery. John not only baptized Jesus, but also provided the first disciples and crowds for Jesus’ ministry. Many of Jesus’ 12 disciples were given to Him by John. John was, in many regards, the founder of Jesus’ ministry.
Later on, Jesus’ own mother and brothers supported His ministry. In the opening pages of the Book of Acts, Jesus mother, Mary, is named as one of the first members of the early church of 120 people. She is publicly supporting and serving in the ministry of her son. Jesus’ brothers James and Jude went on to be Christian pastors and write books of the Bible bearing their names. History reports that James was thrown off the temple and then stoned to death for supporting Jesus. It is quite possible that James’s ministry role was filled by Simon who was Jesus’ half-brother.
Jesus’ family had the Lord as their gravitational center. Aunt and uncle, mom and dad, brothers and sisters, along with cousins – they all remained steadfastly devoted to the Lord. This held their family together and kept it healthy. How can you have a godly family? By serving together in ministry. The path to maturing is serving. There is simply no way to mature spiritually by being served; we have to serve.
Are you currently serving in ministry in some fashion? If not, where can you start? If you have a family, how can you help each member also learn to serve regularly in some capacity?