Questioning through Mark: 3:20-35

Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.”
And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebub! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons.”
So Jesus called them and spoke to them in parables: “How can Satan drive out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. And if Satan opposes himself and is divided, he cannot stand; his end has come. In fact, no one can enter a strong man’s house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man. Then he can rob his house. I tell you the truth, all the sins and blasphemies of men will be forgiven them. But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin.” He said this because they were saying, “He has an evil spirit.”
Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, “Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.”
“Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked. Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”

out of his mind

Wow. Jesus is getting hit from all sides. Crushed by the crowd so that he cannot even eat. Convicted by strangers and law keepers of being powered by the demonic. And then his embarrassed family tries to shut him down.

We have a lot of questions to ask ourselves in this passage:

1. Are we crowding Jesus? And I mean this in the good way. Are we pushing in because we need him? Are we following him around, wanting more of his teaching, his miraculous, and his presence in our lives?

2. Are we seeing Jesus for who he truly is? Crowding him is not enough. We must know him and where he comes from: God, the Father. We must give him the glory he deserves.

The Pharisees only crowded him to find fault with him. What greater fault could they find than to say he was acting in Satan’s power? “He is out of his mind,” they said. Notice, Jesus doesn’t say, “You’re the ones out of your minds.” He refrains from arguing and instead speaks in parables. He gives an example of why the Pharisees accusations make no sense: how can Satan cast out Satan? If you want to rob someone, you must tie him up first to do it.

What’s the take-away for us? Crowd him for the right reasons. Know him. And we only do that by believing what the Bible says is true. A good place for a foundation of Christology: Colossians 1. Christ is not only in his right mind, but we can only be in ours when we know who he really is.

3. Are we embarrassed by Jesus? It’s okay to admit that we are embarrassed sometimes. It’s not okay to try to subdue Jesus in our lives. If we are following him and know him, we must let him do his work in us and the world. There is no taming Jesus. Ironically, in this passage, it is not Jesus, the accused, who is acting in Satan’s power. It is his family, the pharisees, and the crowd–all who want to tone him down and make him safe, make him fit their understanding of a good teacher and powerful leader. Later, Peter cries out against Jesus’s work on the cross and Jesus says, “Get behind me Satan.”

Are we letting Jesus be Jesus?


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