Is it true that Jesus’ family, including his mother, believed that he was mentally ill?

Let's find out.

There seems to be something in the texts that says that Jesus’ family, including his mother, seemed to have believed that he was mentally ill? Is this true? Let’s find out.

Answer:

According to the author of the Gospel of Mark (Mark 3:19-21, 31), during the period when he was preaching, Jesus’ relatives, his mother and his brothers, believed that he was mentally ill. The author of the Gospel of John comments that “neither did his brothers believe in him” (John 7:5). Jesus, in turn, rejected them (Mark 3:31-35, Matthew 12:46-50, Luke 8:19-21). Apparently, Mary, the mother of Jesus, forgot the visits of angels, magi, and shepherds. The prophecies of Anna and Simeon completely slipped her mind. Most of all Mary seems to have forgotten her own impregnation by the Holy Spirit. It is more than likely that she had nothing to forget because these episodes never happened. When Jesus started to preach they had a legitimate concern as to his mental condition. This incident, rather than later claims that his family believed in his message, shows that no miracles surrounded his birth.

© Gerald Sigal