We join Jesus today as He is in a group of people when His mother and brothers show up to take Him home. They set out to “seize” Him in verse 21. Now they are at the door and “want a word with Him.”
Jesus’ family set out from Nazareth a couple of days ago. They think He has gone nuts and they mean to drag Him home where they can tend to Him and make Him behave. They really did love Him; they simply didn’t believe He was who he said He was.
Mark tells us He was with a crowd when they came knocking on the door. They didn’t go into where He was, but asked for someone to send word to Him so He would come out to them. Why didn’t they go in? Were they trying to spare Him the embarrassment of being pulled away in front of His followers? Was there no room for them to come into wherever He was teaching? Did they need room to be able to “seize” Him? Whatever their motives, they were on the outside and Jesus was on the inside.
Jesus knew of their plans to take Him home and He was having none of it. He had no desire to get in a shouting match with His family over His work or words. Jesus didn’t ignore them or pretend they weren’t there. Instead He stated what He expected from His “real’ family. “Whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother” (verse 35).
I’m curious about the people with Jesus at this time. Mark reports that “Looking about at those who sat around Him, He said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers!’” (verse 34). Does that mean that the crowd He was currently with were His followers and not a group of people seeking healing? Was He referring only to His disciples and the women who followed Him to help out? Luke says that the crowd was so large that Jesus’ family couldn’t get in to see Him, so who all was this crowd composed of? Were there some of the religious leaders there keeping an eye on Him? Were there people there whom Jesus had already healed? Was Jesus holding a teaching meeting only?
What did the members of the crowd think about Jesus referring to them as His family? Did they feel honored or did they become upset because He wasn’t responding to the call from His earthly family? If any of the religious leaders were there did they try and turn this into Jesus abandoning His family? If any Pharisees were there, did they think they had a case against him for not honoring His mother and father? We know Jesus NEVER broke any of Your commandments, so even this charge in the light of day wouldn’t hold water.
Father God, I can understand Jesus’ family’s concerns about what He was saying. They grew up with Him. How could He be so different from them? Yet the works that He did spoke volumes to back up His claims. Why didn’t they pay attention to that? What enticed Mary to join in this plot? I thought she traveled with Jesus some of the time. Was this before she truly became one of His followers? Family relations can be so complicated!
Thank You for the family You placed me into. Our relationships are no less complicated, but the legacy of love I received from my parents outweighs all the issues I had with my brothers and sisters growing up. I pray my children feel that same way about me. Life was not easy for us, but we always had each other. I wish they were closer to one another now. Thank You for being there for us, even in the midst of our dark and wandering times. Please remind them of this. I wanted to ask You to reknit my little group but then I realized that they are doing what is expected of every family group. They are branching out and making their own lives. Thank You that they still let me be part of their center.
I’m so glad Jesus’ disciples were able to fill the role of family while His own wrestled with their understanding of Him. Thank You God for providing that family and for adopting me into Your family 2,000 years later. You must have one BIG stocking wall! Some on my stocking wall are adopted/adapted too. Please let me be for them whatever it is You would want me to be and help me stay hands off wherever You tell me to too.