Our Gospel this week is Mark 3:20-35, taken today from the New International Version (NIV).
Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.” And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebul! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons.” So Jesus called them over to him and began to speak to them in parables: “How can Satan drive out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. And if Satan opposes himself and is divided, he cannot stand; his end has come. In fact, no one can enter a strong man’s house without first tying him up. Then he can plunder the strong man’s house. Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.” He said this because they were saying, “He has an impure spirit.” Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, “Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.” “Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked. Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”
Family is an important responsibility and Jesus’ family is worried about Him. They are concerned about His behavior and people’s reaction. It has become such an issue that they say “He is out of his mind” (v. 21).
Even Jesus own family, who know the miracle of His birth and God’s purpose in sending Him, don’t understand. It not what they expected and it’s not what they’re used to seeing in their religion. This isn’t the way the scribes and Pharisees teach at all.
Jesus explains that even those closest to us may not see our faith journey as we do, especially if our call takes us to different places and experiences. Jesus continues His ministry, not denying His earthly family but expanding it, saying “Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother” (v. 35). Love God and obey Him first and always, but also love everyone as part of God’s family.
Gracious God, thank You for the gift of family, those related by birth and those related by association. Help us to love all Your children, regardless of our connection, sharing the Good News with everyone. Amen.