There is generally little discussion about the legitimate family of Jesus. He has been called the Son of Man; he is defined as the Son of God Himself, and he is the child of Joseph and Mary. According to a host of religious sources, he was begotten by the Holy Spirit, which implies that Joseph was not his biological father and that Mary was a virgin.
Yet the image of Mary as a virgin persists despite the fact that she had other children after Christ. It is known that Jesus had siblings, but apart from a few passages, we know very little about them, nor are we told much about his extended family.
One could counter that Jesus may have been physically brought into this world by his mother Mary and may have been taken care of, protected and educated by Joseph, his father, but that all this time, Jesus has been beyond the scope of this realm and is a unique and spiritual Child of Heaven.
But regardless of the motives and circumstances, Jesus did leave and abandon his family. Jesus seemed to have broken the commandment about honoring your parents. He follows his own path and picks strangers as his disciples, basically anyone willing to love him and follow his path. When he meets his mother years later, he answers that she may be his mother, but that essentially, he is motherless.
In other words, Jesus did not only abandon and forsake his family, he denied them. Why would such a person who is filled with love and who inspires others to love and forgive each other, be so cruel to members of his own flesh and blood? Did he himself not follow what he preached?
The problem is more complex. In fact, he probably had no other choice. Familial love and concern would have limited the impact and the grand ambitions of this exceptional and influential man. For example, his parents would have never agreed with his lifestyle – a nomadic life with prostitutes and cripples – along with the dangers that their son would face, leading eventually to his tragic and painful death.
In many ways, if he had not abandoned his family, he would have felt limited and constricted by their protective love for him. It was a liberating and even necessary move to remove the familial shackles and to create something that would last far and beyond into the future. As such, he extended the human notion of family to include and embrace all of humanity.