Mark 3:31-35 Sorry Mom!
As Robby mentioned in last week’s installment of our series, we already know that Jesus’ family is pretty ticked off at Him (v. 21). However it is not until after his conflict with the scribes (v. 22-30) over their charge that He is possessed, that Mark returns to finish out the story of Jesus’ conflict with His family (our text for today).
Jesus’ family had become convinced that He was “out of his mind” (back in v. 21). Now “his mother and his brothers” are standing outside (presumably outside Simon and Andrew’s home – Jesus’ base of operations in Capernaum). “Jesus!” – they call out to Him (v.31). As usual the house is packed, and it is the crowd sitting around Him that alerts Him to the presence of His relatives outside. Most of us are initially taken aback by Jesus’ apparent insensitivity, if not downright rudeness to His mother and brothers outside! But Jesus uses the opportunity to exploit the circumstances as a teaching moment for His disciples (those who sat around Him – v. 34). “Who are my mother and my brothers?” He asks. Jesus, ever the master of Hyperbole declares: “Here are my mother and my brothers!
Whoever does the will of God is Jesus’ brother and sister and mother (v. 35)
Elsewhere Jesus says: “my food is to do the will of him who sent me” (John 4:34). I think we all understand what Jesus is trying to say is really important here. This has nothing to do with Jesus wanting you to hate your family or requiring you to be rude to your relatives! Its about what’s really important. It’s about who has your highest allegiance? “Follow Me!” is what Jesus requires of you (and me)! That said…
So what does this have to do with us as Jesus’ disciples today? Well, quite frankly, for some of us it might very well mean ticking off your family! “Oh no. He hasn’t become one of those kind of Christians has he?” Read “those” to mean the kind who take seriously His teaching, the call to follower-ship, His words, His commands, His will. Ya’ know – doing the will of God (see above)! For some of us it might even mean being flat out disowned by our family.
I have a friend who is a Jewish follower of Jesus. And yep, because of her choice to follow Rabbi Jesus, her family of origin has completely disowned her. We (her church family) along with her husband and her children are the only family she has now.
If you choose to be a disciple of Jesus, people will call you crazy, just as Jesus’ family did to Him. “If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also” (John 15:20). Being a follower of Jesus means being like the Master. Who, or what, has your highest allegiance?
“Come, follow Me” says Jesus.