And the crowd came together again, so that they could not even eat. When His family heard it, they went out to restrain Him, for people were saying, “He has gone out of his mind.” Mark 3:20
I have a hard time picturing this scene from the third chapter of Mark. Wait, what?! Jesus’ own family came to restrain Him? Did this include His mother Mary? She of all people should have known Jesus wouldn’t do anything crazy…didn’t she? I thought she knew where He came from. The Spirit let her in on the Grand Plan from the very beginning, when God’s Son was conceived in her womb. So how could she possibly think He needed to be protected from Himself? And what other “family” came to haul Jesus away, to stop Him from proclaiming things that some people didn’t want to believe? Was the family just embarrassed that Jesus was creating a scene?
What’s really puzzling about the whole situation described here is that the ones who do “get” Jesus are the “fringe dwellers,” the marginalized, the downtrodden, the sick and the self-proclaimed “sinners.” The ones who rejected Him were supposed to be the leaders of the day: the priests, scribes, Pharisees, teachers of the law, and Roman officials. They were the ones who eventually executed Him.
What’s so different in today’s society? If Jesus were to return today, which ones of us would fully embrace Him, believe Him, follow Him without question? Would I be the one to turn away in shame or disgust because Jesus was creating a stir? Would I want to be a part of that, or would I take the path less controversial? Would I say, “He has Beelzebul, and by the ruler of the demons he casts out demons” (Mark 3:22)? Would I declare, “Nobody told us what to expect, when Jesus came!” What a copout!
As I ponder these questions, I think the key may lie in how we prepare our hearts while Christ is not here in the flesh. If we are truly “walking with the Spirit” (Romans 8:4), that same Spirit will convict us to believe in Christ not only now, but for all eternity. Nobody had to tell us. We would just know.
Engaging Lord, kindle in us the fire of Your Spirit that we may never doubt Who You are. Amen
Meg Blaine Corrigan is the author of three books: Then I Am Strong: Moving From My Mother’s Daughter to God’s Child; Perils of a Polynesian Percussionist; and Saints With Slingshots: Daily Devotions for the Slightly Tarnished But Perpetually Forgiven Christian. She holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling from the University of New Mexico and has worked with survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and war veterans. Her books may be purchased through her website, www.MegCorrigan.com or from www.amazon.com .