Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Mark 3:20-35
The crowd came together again, so that Jesus and his disciples 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." And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, "He has Beelzebul, and by the ruler of the demons he casts out demons." And he called them to him, and spoke to them in parables, "How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but his end has come. But no one can enter a strong man's house and plunder his property without first tying up the strong man; then indeed the house can be plundered.

"Truly I tell you, people will be forgiven for their sins and whatever blasphemies they utter; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit can never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin" -- for they had said, "He has an unclean spirit."

 Then his mother and his brothers came; and standing outside, they sent to him and called him. A crowd was sitting around him; and they said to him, "Your mother and your brothers and sisters are outside, asking for you." And he replied, "Who are my mother and my brothers?" And looking at those who sat around him, he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother."

1 comment:

  1. Imagine you are Jesus’ sister or brother standing on the periphery of a crowd that has gathered to listen to him. The middle-eastern sun is scorching your back and the pale dust grinds between your teeth as you wonder; “How can this be happening. We are ordinary people from Galilee. We mind our business, we stay in our place, we don’t make waves. What has gotten into him? My brother has been walking all over the place. He cleansed a leper, healed a man who was paralyzed then he dared to forgive the mans sin? He ate dinner with that tax collector Levi and then broke the Sabbath law when he and his band of followers picked grain and ate it. And why is that band of men following him? Who does do they think he is? Where does he get the power and authority to do these outrageous things? And now the scribes and religious officials are saying he is possessed by Satan. This is not going to turn out well, not for Jesus and not for us. We better go get him and see if we can stop this craziness before it is too late. Nothing good can come of it.” And so Jesus’ family tried to reach him, some translations say they tried to restrain him.

    But things did not turn out the way Jesus’ family imagined. They are left outside with the scribes and the others who explained Jesus’ power and authority by saying he was possessed by Satan. And in one fell swoop Jesus turned the social order upside down. “…looking at those who sat around him (the insiders), (Jesus) said, "Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother." It’s not about social status or race. It’s not about family name, place of origin or religious affiliation. IT’s not even following the rules. In the new world order the insiders are the ones who “do the will of God.” That’s straightforward and unequivocal. Do the will of God and you are an insider, you are a member of Jesus’ family. Choose not to do the will of God and you are an outsider.

    I sure wish the writer of Mark’s gospel had mind traveled to the 21st century and made it perfectly clear to our ‘outsider ears’ that gender, sexual orientation and age are also irrelevant in Jesus’ new world view. If you follow the will of God you are an insider, one of Jesus’ family. And that is the beginning, middle and end of it.