Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Jesus Living Family Mark 3:20-35

Jesus living family is alive today. He named his family saying those who do God's will are his mother, brothers, and sisters (Mark 3:33-34). The church catholic today is a living household of faith, united together listening to God's Word and seeking out how best to do His will.  The Christian relationship as brothers and sisters in Christ is often underestimated—but believers learn here on earth and in the life to come that full breadth and depth of Christ's family is bigger than any human can know.

Human imagination can limit our visions of Jesus' family. His family is defined not by national or ethnic relationships, denominational or parental lineage. The boundaries of God's household are established not by DNA but by the gift of faith growing and nurtured by the Spirit leading believers to follow and serve God.

Early in Jesus' ministry crowds followed close to him seeking miracles and acts of great power (Mark 3:7-13). He had even designated close followers calling 12 men to walk with him as their teacher (Mark 3:14-19). The moment Jesus came home with this huge crowd his birth family reacted both to Jesus personally and to the crowd and the disciples. They treated Jesus like he'd gone mad (Mark 3:20-21). Jesus' mother and siblings needed a change of heart and mind about him. They knew one dimension of Jesus' being—this man who'd lived with them all his life—but now they were seeing the emergence of his full divinity. Jesus own mother underestimated his power.

The pharisees joined in accusing Jesus of having a daemon (Mark 3:22). Jesus didn't laugh off their words. Instead he turned to them with a question, “How can Satan Satan cast out?” πως δύναται σατανας σαταναν εκβάλλειν (Mark 3:23-24). Jesus was outside the lines the pharisees and his own family knew and understood—but the crowd was with him waiting for more. And Jesus spoke so boldly about who Satan is and what he does in response to this accusation. (Mark 3:25-30)

Jesus' family came near again. Many a believer, especially pastors, have similar stories to tell. A woman disowned by her pastor father after seeking to serve God as a pastor herself. A Roman Catholic family who turned away from their son when he sought ordination in an evangelical church. A Baptist family refused to communicate with their son when he entered a Catholic seminary. Even close human families will sometimes miss the calling and activity of God in the life of a beloved child or sibling.

Why should any other human family like Mary and Jesus' siblings be any different?

As Jesus taught the crowd and the disciples His own mother and sibling sent word that they were outside—and Jesus wouldn't leave the company of the crowd to go meet them (Mark 3:31-32). The family's relationship with Jesus was going to be forever different. The crowd recognized something inside of Jesus that even the ones closest to him hadn't seen. His words to the crowd sound harsh towards his family at first (Mark 3:33-34). But pay attention here.  Jesus had a mission and he couldn't turn back from it.  And taking up that mission He didn't disown Mary and the rest of the family. Here we see an opening not only for Jesus family but for all who trust in God to be His brother, sisters, and mother.

Pax, John

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