Why did Jesus teach so little about the family?

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Recently, I was contemplating Jesus’s view on families, and I realized that Jesus actually seemed to have said very little about families. He certainly didn’t seem to share the same rhetoric so common in the LDS church today regarding strengthening and protecting the family.

Consider Luke 14:26, for example:

If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

Or Matt. 10:36–37:

And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

Or Mark 3:31–35:

There came then his brethren and his mother, and, standing without, sent unto him, calling him. And the multitude sat about him, and they said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee. And he answered them, saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren? And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.

I wonder if it’s at all significant that we have so few teachings from Jesus on the family, and that those we do have are seemingly dismissive of the family.

7 thoughts on “Why did Jesus teach so little about the family?

  1. Different times. Those folks were fiercely loyal to their families and to the cultural establishment of the time.

    It’s sad that in our own times the prophets must continually remind us how to handle the basics — and I’m not talking about the gospel per se. I’m talking about how to live a little better than vagabonds.

  2. If we treat Christ’s life as a type and symbol for us to model, it is interesting that he was born into a family unit. Though still a virgin, Mary was still married to Joseph. If family life was not important, the virgin could have raised Jesus by herself.

    We also see that Jesus had both brothers and sisters (Mark 6:3), at least one of which became a strong defender of the faith (Gal. 1:19).

    Of course we cannot bypass the striking beauty of the scripture found in John 19 when, while dying upon the cross, Jesus gave the care of his mother Mary to John, one of his closest friends and disciples. Note that after he had put John in charge of his mother, the scripture notes “Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled”. That final act of seeing after his mother completed his mortal ministry.

    1. Except being born into a family isn’t something we can model. We’re either born into a family or we’re not.

      Also, given how little evidence there is that he was married and had children, should we follow suit?

  3. They are both good examples for our society to emulate. They were chosen to raise the son of God. What a great example of a family unit. Father/mother both striving to raise righteous children dedicated to the God. As children being raised by goodly parents, Jesus and at least one of his brothers served God throughout their lives.

    Whether we are currently the children or the parents we should model ourselves and our own families after Jesus’ family as best we can.

  4. The strongest family tie Jesus mentions frequently in the gospels is his relationship with his Heavenly Father. This family relationship seems to be where Jesus’ thoughts went to most frequently. However we also see a few tender moments with Mary, his mother at Cana and at the cross. Joseph is scarcely mentioned in the gospels and we can only speculate as to why this might be.

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