Biblical Exposition

Jesus Said His Mother Had Other Sons! Really?

by Steve Ray on April 29, 2016

MaryWithBaby.jpgI was confronted with an interesting argument against Mary’s perpetual virginity. The man argued that the Bible itself proves that Mary had other children. He claimed that Jesus expressly states in no uncertain terms that his mother had other sons. He said it must have been overlooked by the Catholic Church.

To read my whole response, click here.  Surprise, at the end of the article, you will discover that Mary DOES have other children!

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I get asked this question a lot and thought others would find my answer helpful. Not that I claim to have discovered this myself but reading and gleaning has brought me to this conclusion.

In Luke 7:19-28, John the Baptist was in prison and sent two of his disciples to Galilee to ask Jesus a question. 

And John, calling to him two of his disciples, sent them to the Lord, saying, Are you he who is to come, or shall we look for another?” And when the men had come to him, they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to you, saying, ‘Are you he who is to come, or shall we look for another?’ 

Some say John was doubting. Was Jesus really the one sent from God, the Messiah, or not? 

Had John lost his faith? Of course, we cannot deny that this is a possibility. Of course John was in prison and things had not gone the way he may have hoped. If Jesus was the “sent one” why was he, John, languishing in the Machaerus Fortress? 

Human weakness could possibly be an explanation though John the Baptist does not strike me as one who is going to doubt Jesus as the Messiah considering all that he had witnessed and known.

I think a better explanation might be that John the Baptist had to decrease and Jesus had to increase (John 3:30). What is the best way to get your disciples to leave you and follow the Messiah than to send them to Jesus to ask him if he is the Messiah? 

In other words I don’t think it was doubt that caused John to send his disciples to ask Jesus that question. It was that he wanted to wean them off of himself so that they would realize who Jesus really was and begin to follow him.

Luke continues, 

In that hour [Jesus] cured many of diseases and plagues and evil spirits, and on many that were blind he bestowed sight. And he answered them, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them.  And blessed is he who takes no offense at me.” (Luke 7:18-28)

Seeing Jesus’ miracles and their correspondence side-by-side with the prophecies of Isaiah certainly gave the proof to an honest heart and mind. 

John, knowing his disciples had been prepared for the coming Messiah through his own preaching, knew they would recognize and follow him after their journey. He must decrease, Jesus must increase.

This seems to me an adequate and substantial explanation of John the Baptist’s question. I think St. Francis de Sales explained it this way and if anyone knows where the citation is, please let me know.

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Revelation 21:10-27 describes the New Jerusalem at the end of time. It is exquisite and the writer of Revelation struggles with words to describe it’s glory and magnitude. 

So, how large will the New Jerusalem be? Here is a diagram superimposed on a map of the United States.

Many people, especially the Orthodox Jews, discuss the building some day of the new Temple.

Sorry, there will never be a “new Temple” since that new Temple is already being built. It is the Body of Christ, the Church.

The Gospel of John tells us, “The Jews then said to him, “What sign have you to show us for doing this?” Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” But he spoke of the temple of his body” (John 2:18–21).

And St. Peter tells us more, “And like living stones be yourselves built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 2:5).

Our destiny is marvelous, exciting and for all of eternity.

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My Talk at Primacy of Peter: Understanding John 21 and Jesus’ Appearance at the Sea of Galilee

April 2, 2016

Since we are at the Primacy of St. Peter today along the shore of Galilee, I thought I would share my teaching that I give all our pilgrims at this site. It is an explanation of St. John 21 where Jesus appoints Peter to be the shepherd of his sheep. But there is much more [...]

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How Long Was Jesus in the Tomb? Another Contradiction?

March 26, 2016

“For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Matt. 12:38-40) Skeptics claim to have discovered an error in the New Testament —claiming Jesus was not in the tomb [...]

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When Was Jesus Crucified? How Long on the Cross? Do the Gospels Contradict Each Other?

March 25, 2016

Do the Gospels Conflict? How Long was Jesus on the Cross? The question intrigued me sufficiently enough that I spent the best part of a day working on it. On the surface there seems to be a contradiction in the Gospels, mentioning different times for the crucifixion.  Maybe the Apostles forgot to check their watches! Mark says [...]

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Was Jesus Crucified Naked?

March 25, 2016

A gentleman heard me on Relevant Radio earlier. I had mentioned on the air that one of the great humiliations of a crucifixion was that a man was crucified naked. This thoughtful gentleman wrote to challenge my comments. Below is his e-mail and my response. Dear Mr. Ray, Please correct your description of the Passion. [...]

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The Cross & the Crucifix: Letter to a Fundamentalist

March 14, 2016

The Cross & the Crucifix (From a letter Steve wrote to a Evangelical Protestant who asked about the Catholic Crucifix) Dear Evangelical Friend: You display a bare cross in your home; we display the cross and the crucifix. What is the difference and why? The cross is an upright post with a crossbeam in the [...]

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The Pain of Stolen Honey – In Preparation for “John the Baptist & Our Lord Baptism”

March 5, 2016

A painful price is paid when one reaches his hand into a swarm of bees to swipe some of their honey. Stingers fly and welts flare. I raised hives of bees as a boy and once I was stung 35 times in one day. Wild honey is not collected from wild bees without burning pain [...]

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Hair Cut only Once a Year

March 1, 2016

David had a very handsome son. His name was Absalom and he betrayed his father the king and led a rebellion against him. The Bible says that Absalom was “beautiful“ and he only cut his hair once a year. Here is what the Bible says about him: “Now in all Israel there was no one so much to be praised [...]

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Feast of Chair of St. Peter: “Chair of Moses, Chair of Peter” Steve’s Article, YouTube Video and Resources

February 22, 2016

                                St. Cyprian of Carthage (beheaded 257 AD) one hundred and fifty years before the New Testament writings were collected into one book called “The Bible”: “The Lord says to Peter: ‘I say to you,’ He says, ‘that you are [...]

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Plants and Trees of the Bible – What a Fun Show!

January 28, 2016

You may not realize how often plants and trees play a part in Scripture! To understand the land and culture of the Bible is to open your eyes to the whole story of salvation. Recently I did a fun show on Relevant Radio about the Trees & Plants in the Bible. Hope you enjoy it. [...]

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Interesting Explanation of Baptism from Protestant Dictionary – “baptism…in itself is unimportant”

January 10, 2016

I was looking up Greek definitions of the word baptism and found this interesting “definition.” This dictionary is usually very good but I found this summary of biblical passages on baptism very intriguing and disingenuous. Take a look at this definition and think about it for yourself. Analyze it and the verses used. Notice how they [...]

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Temple Sizes Compared – bigger than a football field

January 7, 2016

The 1) Tabernacle in the wilderness, the 2) Temple of Solomon, 3) Herod’s Temple at the time of Christ and 4) Ezekiel’s Temple are compared. The football field looks insignificant compared to the temples (in more than one way :-) The Muslim Shrine that now sits atop Temple Mount is built over the rock where [...]

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Epiphany? So What?

January 6, 2016

 What is Epiphany anyway? And why should I care? The Feast of the Epiphany – the Magi, the Baptism of Jesus and the Miracle of Cana all combined – is really quite fascinating. It was actually a celebration in the Church long before Christmas was celebrated and eventually overshadowed Epiphany. John Paul II gave 52 [...]

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Are You Born Again?

January 5, 2016

 Since we are all renewing our Baptismal Vows at the Jordan River today, thought this post from a year ago might be appropriate :-) It seems that God is kind of predictable in a way :-) since He always starts new things in the same way – with “water and the Spirit“. Consider the following: 1) The [...]

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