Mark – God is On Our Side!
There was a time in my early college days, before marriage, still living at home, that I exasperated my dad to the point of him stopping me at the door of our home to say, “You have to find time to rest! You are too busy. Your schedule is too full.” My mom, came into the room and helped me out, “But if she is doing what she likes, it’s fun for her. I don’t think it’s that harmful to her.” Then she turned to me and asked, “Are you okay?” I gave the quick reply of “Yep!” And then I left to another activity. (My current friends and family will tell you not much as changed.)
I will never forget that moment, stuck between mom and dad, with “food for thought.” They were both right. I was commuting to college with a full load, working a job after I got home, babysitting from time to time, and going everywhere our active youth group in service and in fun. I think dad was missing having me at home. Mom was proud that I did not sit at home doing nothing or watching TV like some of her friends’ kids were doing. I had goals. I kept pressing forward. I was on a mission.
SO….as I read this passage of the enormous, but the completely possible work load of Jesus, I understand his family’s concern for his human well-being. But He is God and we are not. His family needed to realize that once more.
We humans must strike a balance between work and rest, prayer and actions. Our example is Jesus. But again, He is God and we are not. We have to continually check ourselves daily for why we do what we do so we are guided by the Holy Spirit with righteous motivations in the work God has asked us to join Him in each day. I stopped wearing busy as a badge long ago. When God asks, I simply say yes!
Mark 3, NLT
Jesus and the Prince of Demons
20 One time Jesus entered a house, and the crowds began to gather again. Soon he and his disciples couldn’t even find time to eat. 21 When his family heard what was happening, they tried to take him away. “He’s out of his mind,” they said.
22 But the teachers of religious law who had arrived from Jerusalem said, “He’s possessed by Satan, the prince of demons. That’s where he gets the power to cast out demons.”
23 Jesus called them over and responded with an illustration. “How can Satan cast out Satan?” he asked. 24 “A kingdom divided by civil war will collapse. 25 Similarly, a family splintered by feuding will fall apart. 26 And if Satan is divided and fights against himself, how can he stand? He would never survive. 27 Let me illustrate this further. Who is powerful enough to enter the house of a strong man and plunder his goods? Only someone even stronger—someone who could tie him up and then plunder his house.
28 “I tell you the truth, all sin and blasphemy can be forgiven, 29 but anyone who blasphemes the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven. This is a sin with eternal consequences.” 30 He told them this because they were saying, “He’s possessed by an evil spirit.”
The True Family of Jesus
31 Then Jesus’ mother and brothers came to see him. They stood outside and sent word for him to come out and talk with them. 32 There was a crowd sitting around Jesus, and someone said, “Your mother and your brothers are outside asking for you.”
33 Jesus replied, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?” 34 Then he looked at those around him and said, “Look, these are my mother and brothers. 35 Anyone who does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”
Our Lord’s friends were sure that Jesus was confused, and possibly deranged! The great crowds they saw following Him, and the amazing reports they heard about Him, convinced them that He desperately needed help. He simply was not living a normal life, so His friends came to Capernaum to “take charge of him.” Then his mother and “brethren” (Mark 6:3) traveled thirty miles from Nazareth to plead with Him to come home and get some rest, but even they were unable to get near Him. This is the only place in the gospel of Mark where Mary is seen, and her venture was a failure.
History reveals that God’s servants are usually misjudged by their contemporaries, and often misunderstood by their families. D. L. Moody was called “Crazy Moody” by many people in Chicago, and even the great apostle Paul was called mad (Acts 26:24–25).
Our Lord was not being rude to His family when He remained in the house and did not try to see them. He knew that their motives were right but their purpose was definitely wrong. If Jesus had yielded to His family, He would have played right into the hands of the opposition. The religious leaders would have said, “See, He agreed with His family—He needs help! Don’t take Jesus of Nazareth too seriously.” Instead of giving in, He used this crisis as an opportunity to teach a spiritual lesson: His “family” is made up of all those who do the will of God. Our Lord’s half-brothers were not believers (John 7:1–5), and Jesus felt closer to the believing publicans and sinners than He did to James, Joses, Judah, and Simon, His half-brothers.
Our Lord was not suggesting that believers ignore or abandon their families in order to serve God, but only that they put God’s will above everything else in life. Our love for God should be so great that our love for family would seem like hatred in comparison (Luke 14:26). Certainly it is God’s will that we care for our families and provide for them (see 1 Tim. 5:8), but we must not permit even our dearest loved ones to influence us away from the will of God. When you consider the importance of the family in the Jewish society, you can imagine how radical Christ’s words must have sounded to those who heard them.
How does one enter into the family of God?
By means of a new birth, a spiritual birth from above (John 3:1–7; 1 Peter 1:22–25). When the sinner (and ALL have sinned) trusts Jesus Christ as Savior, he/she experiences this new birth and enters into God’s family.
We share God’s divine nature and can call God “Father” (Rom. 8:15–16). This spiritual birth is not something that we accomplish for ourselves, nor can others do it for us (John 1:11–13). It is God’s work of grace; all we can do is believe and receive (Eph. 2:8–9).
Ready to be part of the family? Say yes!
Dear Heavenly Father, Lord and Savior
Thank you for inviting all of us into your family. You get a loud, bold and mighty YES from me! Continue to grow and mature me. Transform me into all you intended for me to be…before I do anything. May all my life be driven by Your Holy Spirit!
In Jesus Name, Amen