Our Gospel lesson is Mark 3:20-35, taken today from the English Standard Version (ESV).

Then he went home, and the crowd gathered again, so that they could not even eat. And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for they were saying, “He is out of his mind.” And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and “by the prince of demons he casts out the demons.” And he called them to him and said to them in parables, “How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but is coming to an end. But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. Then indeed he may plunder his house. “Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the children of man, and whatever blasphemies they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin” — for they were saying, “He has an unclean spirit.” And his mother and his brothers came, and standing outside they sent to him and called him. And a crowd was sitting around him, and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers are outside, seeking you.” And he answered them, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” And looking about at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.”

In this passage Jesus is accused of having “an unclean spirit” and “casting out demons by the prince of demons” (v. 22 & 30). It may be the first time people say He is out of His mind, but it is not the last. Throughout His ministry they saw His passion to save us as a mental illness.

Of course, He wasn’t out of His mind, but in the mind of God. His love and healing went far beyond anything people had seen before, and that was God’s plan all along. In Christ we are given the example of what a life dedicated to God can be.

Jesus didn’t let what people thought of Him change His relationship with God or with others. He was consistent in His devotion to God’s will and persistent in His efforts to teach us God’s way. As the disciples of today, we must show the same love for all and share the Good News we have received.

Gracious God, we are grateful for the example of Jesus, leading us to know Your love and teaching the world about our eternal connection to You. May we go in His name to spread Your truth to all people. Amen.

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