One of the Scripture passages that sort of troubled me (for years) was this one in the end of Mark 3: “31 Then His mother and His brothers arrived, and standing outside they sent word to Him and called Him. 32 A crowd was sitting around Him, and they said to Him, “Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are outside looking for You.” 33 Answering them, He said, “Who are My mother and My brothers?” 34 Looking about at those who were sitting around Him, He said, ” Behold My mother and My brothers! 35 For whoever does the will of God, he is My brother and sister and mother.” (NASB)
It sounds like Jesus wasn’t honoring his mother or respecting his brothers. Why did he reject their call to Him? Pretty rude, isn’t it?
Today when I read through Mark I was reading in the English Standard Bible and I caught something I hadn’t before in multiple readings of the chapter. In verse 21, it says, “When His own people heard of this, they went out to take custody of Him; for they were saying, “He has lost His senses.” (NASB) The ESB uses the word “family” instead of “own people” in that verse, and the NASB has the footnote that the word is alternately “kinsmen.”
In this context Jesus was performing miracles and the religious leaders were saying he was performing miracles in the power of Satan, casting demons out because, really, he was demonized himself.
Even Jesus’ family bought into the evaluation that the scribes (the experts) brought forth — that Jesus was crazy.
Have you ever done something that you believe the Lord was leading you to do only to be declared nuts by those closest to you? I’m visiting Oregon this week, where many years ago we decided to host a large Russian immigrant family. We were broke, had a large family of our own (5 at the time), a house close to foreclosure, and were counseled against doing such a crazy thing. I’m here in Oregon, where we began our journey of bearing and raising 10 children, and where often we were declared to be unwise–foolish even–and crazy. (I should add that many in Oregon were very supportive, and some emulated us… but there were definitely some that thought and told us we were off our rocker!)
By the way, that Russian family (actually, Ukrainian) have prospered and been a blessing here in Oregon. And our 10 children serve the Lord and bless their communities, as well as our 19 grandchildren.
So when Jesus declared that His family were those that did the will of His Father, his earthy family was probably there, not to believe, not to follow Him, but to have Him committed… So if they thought the Lord of Creation was crazy, some of the things the Lord might have us do might come across the same way.