Monday 6 April
Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. A crowd was sitting round [Jesus], 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 round him and said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.’
While my family rejoiced over my choice to become a Christian, that’s not the case for everyone. Indeed, at some point in every growing Christian’s life (including my own), there comes a time when we will, even must, face rejection.
Rejection from those we love may cause us to question everything we know about ourselves and the path we’ve chosen to follow. Jesus confronted this too. In Mark 3:31-35, Jesus’ ministry is exploding. Large crowds gather daily to experience his teachings and miracles. But Jesus’ family is not amused by this. They scoff at him, claiming he is “out of his mind” (3:21). In verse 31, they finally approach him, presumably to bring all this ‘gospel’ nonsense to an end.
How does Jesus respond? In the original Greek, Mark 3:35 reads, “Jesus’ eye swept the whole circle of his audience.” Then he exclaims, “Who are my mother and brothers? … Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”
Don’t be fooled; Jesus was not heartless. Family rejection must have been as excruciating for him as it is for us today. Yet instead of focusing on what he had lost, Jesus looks to his followers and welcomes them into a new spiritual family. He extends this same invitation to us today: we can be siblings of Jesus!
Father, in this season of creating absence, let us reflect on what you’ve given us in abundance. When we feel the rejection of family, friends, or society, remind us that we have gained so much more. Jesus, we thank you for giving us a new identity, purpose, and family in you. Amen.
Written by Lauren Welch, Communications and Database Administrator, Christianity Explored North America
Lauren's background is in publishing, writing, and social media design. Her passion is using creativity to share the Gospel and she's excited to do this at CE NA. She lives in South Carolina.
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