It is an understatement to say that our families and many of our friends thought we had lost our minds when Caroline and I first put our faith in Jesus Christ. At that time, one concerned relative asking Caroline if I had brainwashed her. Most of our family members, I’m sad to say, are not followers of Jesus.
I remember the first Christmas after we both became believers. We attended, as always, my grandmother’s annual Christmas dinner, where all the extended family gathered once a year. This seemed like the ideal time to talk about the true meaning of Christmas and the importance of faith in Jesus Christ. Needless to say, things got awfully quiet when we mentioned our new faith. But to our surprise, my cousin Jean and her husband Charlie broke the ice and told us they were Christians too. In that instant, I sensed a more intimate, kindred connection with Jeana and Charlie than all of my other blood relatives. I was now more than a cousin to Jean. She was my sister in Christ and her husband my brother. Since that time, another cousin and his wife have become believers and we all experience a special familial intimacy when reunited at family reunions. Cousins I once had a distant connection with now seem nearer than family I’ve spent years with.
Many of the first disciples faced an even more pronounced reaction from their families after committing their lives to Jesus. Some were disowned and thrown out of the household. Yet, through Jesus they were, as we are, adopted into the family of God. Jesus is now a brother. Jesus Himself was no stranger to extreme reactions from family and others as we see in this week’s reading from Mark’s gospel
Take a careful look at the three different groups (family, scribes and disciples) mentioned in this week’s passage. Each group has its own theory about who Jesus is. What do they each assume? What’s your theory about Jesus? Why does Jesus respond to His mother and half brothers in the manner described in verses 31-35?
We’ll talk about all this and more this coming Lord’s Day.