Mary (“Miriam”) bears the same name as Moses’ sister. A strong woman. She is married to Joseph. The names of the rest of the family are also strong names recollecting their early history of liberation. Jesus (Joshua = “God saves/liberates/sets free”), James (Jacob), Joseph, Simon (Simeon), Judas (Judah), (Matthew 13:55). And, yes, we know Jesus had at least two sisters. It also tells a story that we don’t know their names.
Does your family go in for royal names (George, James, Henry, William, Elizabeth, Anne)? Famous sports people? Jesus’ family seemed to choose early liberation names. Jesus’ family chose names from the foundational deliverance stories of their nation. You can imagine what the Roman oppressors thought of people with names like this.
When the new Joshua (Jesus) crosses the Jordan (baptism) from the far side (Jn 1:28), re-entering the Promised Land, one can imagine the texts that hit Pontius Pilate’s cell phone from the equivalent of MI5 or the SIS. The strong Miriam-Mary and her family were a group to keep an eye on.
This post continues as part of my ongoing rebuilding older sections of this site; I have reblogged some earlier posts. This post is part of re-using a yet-to-be-rebuilt commentary on a collect for the day.
Here is the ever-useful textweek link.
Do you have other resources?
The origin of the image I think is Jesus Mafa
- January 1: the Naming of Jesus; Mary, Mother of God
- 1 January 2019
- The Naming of Jesus
- St James of Jerusalem, Brother of the Lord
- Saint James of Jerusalem, brother of our Lord