Then He went home, and the crowd gathered again so that they were not even able to eat. When His family heard this, they set out to restrain Him, because they said, "He's out of His mind." The scribes who had come down from Jerusalem said, "He has Beelzebul in Him!" and, "He drives out demons by the ruler of the demons!" So He summoned them and spoke 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 rebels against himself and is divided, he cannot stand but is finished! "On the other hand, no one can enter a strong man's house and rob his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man. Then he will rob his house. I assure you: People will be forgiven for all sins and whatever blasphemies they may blaspheme. But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin" - because they were saying, "He has an unclean spirit." Then His mother and His brothers came, and standing outside, they sent [word] to Him and called Him. A crowd was sitting around Him and told Him, "Look, Your mother, Your brothers, and Your sisters are outside asking for You." He replied to them, "Who are My mother and My brothers?" And looking about at those who were sitting in a circle around Him, He said, "Here are My mother and My brothers! Whoever does the will of God is My brother and sister and mother." Mark 3:20-35
Jesus, My Lord how different You are than every other person who has ever existed. This is wonderfully displayed in this passage! Your humanity so genuine; Your divinity so glorious. Here I see You skipping a meal for the sake of ministering to a mob of people with mixed motives. The one who created the stomach and the mouth here knows what its like to be hungry and not have the satisfaction of a full stomach. Jesus, You can see right through to the innermost depths of the this crowd and intuitively You know that most of them are going to eventually reject You, but this doesn't stop You from ministering to them. What was it about You that caused mobs of people to constantly be pleading for Your attention? What made them feel like it was OK for them to interrupt Your meal? Its doubtful that even the most famous rabbi up to that point had ever had multitudes vying for their attention anything like this. Jesus You are so kind, so approachable, not inconvenienced by the needs of humanity, not impatient or irritated even the slightest. You always have time for Your prized image bearers, You never turn anyone away who is persistent in faith. Mankind even in its utter depravity is still intrinsically drawn to their creator even if its motives are for selfish gain. Jesus here are your people the offspring of Jacob finally seeking after You! You remember Sinai, You remember how they made a vow to follow You but never did. They forsook You over and over... just as I have. You sent them prophets, plagues, enemies; You pleaded with them from the time of Moses all the way to Malachi for them to return to You. And now here You are in the flesh standing face to face with those that you had been pursuing for thousands of years! This time its not a prophet sent, this time You come Yourself, the very word of God incarnate.... and you open up your precious mouth and speak to them Your own words! How could you contain the yearnings of your heart? How do you seem so composed? Jesus what words did you have for this crowd? Oh to be standing outside and peek through this window to see God incarnate sitting on a floor teaching and praying for the sick?
Jesus you grew up a Jew in a Jewish culture where I must remember that meal time was a sacred time. Long extended meals were central to the life of a 1st century Jew of that day. You were accustomed to reclining at the table with Your family and friends for hours of fellowship, hours of talking, laughing, and discussing the issues of the day. Jesus we have to remember that for 30 years prior to your ministry that you sat around a table every single day with your family and talked with them, sang songs, laughed and did what every other Jewish family did. What did you talk about? What was it like growing up and asking the God of the universe to pass the salt? Imagine sitting around a table and chatting with the very uncreated who did Genesis 1 every single day for decades? Jesus this is unfathomable! What does this say about the nature of God! You were on the earth for all of 32-33 years and You spent 30 of those years serving and being around your family? What? How could this be? The need of humanity is so great!?!? Didn't you have work to do? How could You be content sitting at a table with Your family knowing that people were on their way to eternal destruction in a lake of fire apart from You! What meekness, what restraint, what priorities! What does this say that You would spend the vast amount of your time on earth with your family?!?
But now at the beginning of Your ministry after all those years of Your siblings becoming familiar with You, we see a scene that is just horrifying in its implications. As the story unfolds we see that your family catches rumor that You are surrounded by a multitude and aren't eating dinner. The reaction of Your own family is astounding!?! They say among themselves that You are out of Your mind! Jesus!!! What????? How could they say that about You? The language of this is actually pointing towards you being insane or demonized!?!?! Jesus even Mary the one who heard the words from Gabriel about who You would be? How could she be involved in this? How could she be agreeing that her son who was conceived by the Holy Spirit was insane? What does this say? How could she digress so? was she so used to mothering You: to telling you what to do; to having you be submissive to her; that she forgot who you were? What were You doing that would cause such a response from your family! I mean they ate meals with you every day for decades?! They must have been so overfamiliar with your meekness; so over comfortable with your presence; so undiscerning of who you really were. Its obvious here that they are the furthest thing from a faith that you were Messiah in fact they are asserting that you need to be removed and helped. What was so offensive about Your ways that caused such an upheaval?
Jesus You surely know what it is like to be misunderstood. In fact there is no one that was more misunderstood in all of human history than you. Never once were you rightly esteemed; never once did any man respond rightly to your presence. You who enthralled the seraphim since the dawn of time now sit in a poor Jewish town being called insane and demonized by the ones You fashioned. It seems that most people have at least a few advocates in their favor, but here you are standing alone, with a few immature and no doubt scared disciples who themselves have no idea who you really are. Not even the people who grew up closest to you saw you with eyes of faith. I would think that the ones that saw You sleep at night, the ones that saw You in the day in and day out would be the first to believe. But no.... Your family is rejecting You; they don't believe, they don't have faith and in fact they are in the same category as those that are calling you Beelzebul. What was so different now than when you were living with them carrying for them in Joseph's stead. They were so used to You the tradesman; so use to You the Jesus that seemed to exist just to be there for them.... But now they who You once Fathered as the eldest son stand as enemies to your mission. I mean didn't you tell them this day would come? Didn't you try to prepare them for what was to come? Didn't they hear you talk about the day You would have to leave be about your true Father's business. How this must have saddened your heart. How this must have struck a cord deep within you of the desperate need of all of humanity to be delivered from its deeply embedded depravity. Jesus what did you think at that moment? How did you feel? I know that I get so utterly self conscious and discouraged if I don't have the approval of my peers and my family. Its hurts me so bad when my own family rejects me.
What stands as such a stark contrast to this situation is that there has never been another man who was so RIGHT in every way as You in this scene! You stand as perfect, without sin, without falsehood, no tint of false motive. You... the one who defines what is right and true is accused of being insane. I know when I am accused, my accuser is always in part right. I always have something worthy of accusation. Correction to me is intrinsic to my nature.... I am by default wrong. But with You there could be no greater contrast; no greater chasm between truth and error as this scene. You stand as ALL that defines PERFECTION and there is an infinite gap between you and error. A gap that you will never know, for you will never know what it is like to be wrong, you will never know what it is like to have to say sorry for a wrong that you did. You will never ever know what if feels like to have once second of a guilty conscience.
So in the midst of being accused of being insane by your family the scribes and pharisees jump in with their accusation. Here stand puffed up men in all their religious garb audacious enough to open their undiscerning lips and utter words that call you demonized under the chief demon! I am astounded at your humility that you would even engage them in conversation! They were not worthy of your humble pleading with them. They were not worthy of one syllable. You could have wiped them out with one thought, but instead you reach out to them and I am so glad that you did.... for I was once in the same self-righteous dilemma as these men.
On one hand at the human level is seems that You must have felt such sadness over the state of the ones You loved so dearly. But on the divine level You were perfectly cognizant that You would one day receive the labor of your soul; that You have a bride worthy of Your love.... You know that You will receive from Your Father the desire of Your heart. But the great paradox is that the foreknowledge doesn't cause you to feel less.... knowing the future doesn't cause You do disconnect from the present.... You are deeply connected emotionally in this scene to what is going on. You always have perfect peace and communion with your Father, but again the paradox of the god-man is that You are the most joyful man who ever existed (Ps. 45), and the most sorrowful man who every existed (Is. 53) . I can't help but think of you later in the gospels weeping over Jerusalem as you pronounce Judgement on her... Oh Jesus how is it that You would plead with a people knowing that even Your words would not evoke repentance? How could you allow your precious words to fall on deaf ears? OH but Your word never returns void... every word from your lips is so precise and so perfect. Your words accomplish your precise purpose. They cause the humble to repent and love You, but to the wicked Your words solidify them in their depravity. OH Jesus how your words search the heart of man. They are both mercy and judgment together working as a sword to separate the wheat from the chaff.
Jesus Your family calls for You and You publicly redefine family life in Your kingdom. Once a new creation there is a drastic shift to those in Christ being far closer and more intimate than those of biological family who are apart from Christ. What a disruption this brings, and you truly have caused brother to be against father and mother against a daughter. How offended members of ones family become when they don't follow the traditions of the generations. Jesus you will be controlled by no man. You will not be swayed by the thickest traditions. You are like a raging lion tearing through thousands of years of embedded dogma. You respect no man greater than another. You show no partiality. Your zeal comes shinning through with all vigilance. This vigilance; this commitment to righteousness is so disruptive that you are redefining everything so that you will have eminence down to the very family unit itself.
Jesus how would I have responded that day? Which group would I have found myself in? The selfish masses pressing upon you not letting you eat? The unbelieving family who is trying to hinder the works of God? Or the prideful, envious, self-righteous leaders who call you demonized? I know that at certain times in my life I have responded like all of them towards you. Do I think you are out of your mind at times because of your mysterious leadership?
To sum it up: Here the beautiful God attends to the needly instead of His own belly. His closest are offended and call Him insane. Humanity speaks through the pharisees and accuses God as the source of all. Jesus speaks passionate words of longing desiring repentance but undoubtedly solidifying the unrighteous in their sin sealing their fate to eternal punishment. And at the end He has a precious few sitting encircled around Him truly hearing His words. These are His true kin.