Father, I am convinced that, even before I reach out to You, You are already reaching out to me. Thank You.
Read Mark 3:20-35
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
What draws you to Jesus? Take a few minutes to reflect on this question. Is it personal or family need, anxiety about the world, or the recognition of Jesus’ lordship?
Consider the crowd that pressed upon Jesus. Who were they, and what was their motivation? We know that many were the poor and the sick, the confused and the searching (1:32-34, 6:34; Matt. 4:23-25). Others were probably just sightseers, attracted by the healings, exorcisms, and controversy. Then there was the sinister presence of the scribes, religious officials sent from Jerusalem, part of the conspiracy to destroy Jesus (3:6). The tension and conflict that would end with Jesus’ crucifixion was already palpable. Jesus’ own family was so disturbed by his radical attack on the religious/political hierarchy that they worried about his sanity (21).
The intensity and significance of Jesus’ conflict with the Jewish authorities explains Jesus’ response to the anxiety of his mother and siblings. (There can be no question that Jesus loved them deeply. Even when in agony on the cross, one of his last acts was to ensure that his mother would be cared for (John 19:26,27). What was at stake here was something of absolute importance—the careful and deliberate establishment of a new community of faith, a relational community centered on Jesus and obedient to him. How wonderful that we are part of this global, forgiven, relational community of Jesus’ companions, in all its wonderful diversity and richness!
The vehemence of the scribes’ rejection of Jesus forced them into the venomous, clearly ridiculous assertion that Jesus was a tool of Satan, thus committing the unforgivable sin: “To identify the work of God as the work of the devil is to blaspheme against the Holy Spirit; it is the ultimate blindness, the point from which there is no turning back” (J. Kernaghan). What a tragedy when a person develops such resistance to God’s overtures as to become immune to them, and moves beyond the reach of the Holy Spirit.
Prayerfully, thankfully, consider both what you receive and what you can contribute to the extraordinary community of Jesus’ friends and followers.
Lord Jesus, I’m so glad that because I belong to You, I’m part of a great world-wide family of all who belong to You. May I bless it as it blesses me.
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