Creator God, Alpha and Omega, first and last: I wait in anticipation to receive fresh grace from You today.
Read MARK 3:20–35
Jesus Accused by His Family and by Teachers of the Law
20 Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. 21 When his family[a] heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.”
22 And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebul! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons.”
23 So Jesus called them over to him and began to speak to them in parables: “How can Satan drive out Satan? 24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. 26 And if Satan opposes himself and is divided, he cannot stand; his end has come. 27 In fact, no one can enter a strong man’s house without first tying him up. Then he can plunder the strong man’s house. 28 Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, 29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.”
30 He said this because they were saying, “He has an impure spirit.”
31 Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. 32 A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, “Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.”
33 “Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked.
34 Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 35 Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”
- Mark 3:21 Or his associates
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
‘God … who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong.’1
The opposition toward the ministry of Jesus continues to grow after a series of conflicts with the religious authorities from Galilee.2 In this reading, Jesus’ family and the religious authorities from Jerusalem have not only misunderstood His ministry but now attempt to discredit Him. The family seeks to take charge of Him by alleging Him to be out of His mind, while the religious authorities charge Him with collaborating with Satan. This is in sharp contrast with the evil spirits, who recognize Jesus as the Son of God (11)!
This must have been a very painful moment for Jesus. He is misunderstood and rejected when He is doing God’s will. Many of God’s faithful servants, from Paul to modern-day missionaries such as Hudson Taylor, faced the same charge from people who knew them and were closest to them. As an Asian, I have witnessed many Christians face rejection by family, relatives, and friends when they decide to follow Jesus. Some have lost their jobs. Some have lost their identity and have been labeled as traitors by their close-knit communities for forsaking the tradition of ancestral worship. Many of us find a new family in the body of Christ. We find our security in Christ and our identity as children of God (34).3 Likewise, in many parts of the world, even in the west, it is increasingly difficult to be faithful followers of Jesus. If our Lord was misunderstood and rejected by His own, we should not expect anything less. Let us take courage if we have been treated unfairly because of our faith in Christ and our service for Him. Let us continue to be steadfast and stand firm for the Lord.
Let us remember and pray for the persecuted church, that it might continue to stand firm and steadfast and be a faithful witness to Christ.
God of signs and wonders, stars and angels, I remember my brothers and sisters in Christ around the world who face such difficulty for following You. Sustain and enable them to stand strong for You.
11 Pet 5:10 2 Mark 2:1 – 3:6 3 See also John 1:12,13
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