Genesis 7: 1a
The LORD said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and your whole family (Heb. beyth’ak).
Judges 24: 15
As for me and my household/family (Heb. u beythi), we will serve the LORD.
Mark 9: 33a
Then they came to Capernaum. While Jesus was at home/the house (Heb. bayith).
Mark 3: 20-21a
Then Jesus went home [to the house] (Heb. ha bay’tha). Another crowd gathered so that Jesus and His disciples could not even eat. When His own family (Heb. q’ro bayu) heard about this, they went to get Him.
Mark 3: 31a
Then His mother and brothers arrived. They stood outside and sent someone to ask Him to come out.
Mark 6: 1, 4
Jesus left that place and went to His hometown [“Nazareth”-Luke 4: 16].
Jesus said to them, “The only place a prophet is not honored is in his hometown, among his own relatives (Heb. q’ro bayu), and in his own household/family (Heb. q’ro beytho).
John 7: 5b
Even His brothers didn’t believe in Him.
DISCUSSION: Most, if not all Christians and people of faith throughout the world would consider it quite improbable that Jesus the Son of God and Jewish Messiah would have family responsibilities. Now, if He were a mortal, though an extraordinarily gifted one, it would not be too much of a stretch of the imagination that He would follow the social custom of His time and be married with children. At a first glance the third chapter of Mark’s gospel seems to strongly suggest what might at once though to be sacrilegious to many.
However, upon close examination of the text and other references, one has to conclude that the family that is being described refers to Jesus’ relatives who arrive on the scene some ten verses later. As intriguing as it might be, one can only speculate how this would have worked out anyway. It all comes down to a translation of the word “family” and one of those words is ‘bayu’ which is the same Hebrew word for “relative.” So, another reading of Mark 3: 21a would be: When His relatives [family] heard about it, they went to get Him.
Consequently, His mother Mary and His brothers came to the rescue afterwards; or least they made the attempt to gain access to Him but could not on this occasion.
776 Commerce St. #B-11
Tacoma, WA 98402
July 24, 2012