Monday, October 14, 2013

Family, God’s people hear Him (Mark 3:20-35)

Here we see one of my favorite features in Mark’s Gospel, one that he will use seven times, where he will “sandwich” one story in another story. In that way he uses one story to comment on and illustrate the teaching of the other. Here we have Jesus’ family—embarrassed by what they see as Jesus’ strange and “crazy” behavior—coming to take Him home. Sandwiched in that account we have another reaction to Jesus’ ministry, that of the religious academics of the day, the theologians. They find Jesus’ behavior demonic.

What we need to remember here is the nature of Jesus ministry; the thing that everyone was judging to be demonic or crazy. Jesus was teaching that the Kingdom of God—the world and humanity as God intends it to be—was come, and the correct response to God’s Kingdom coming is to repent of our own rebellious attempts to build our kingdoms and trust God’s good news of forgiveness. This message was being manifest with healings and exorcisms.

Jesus response to the demonic accusation was two-fold. First, it makes no sense. Why would the enemy attack itself? Secondly, it shows a dangerous inability to recognize the movement of God. What is being offered humanity is reconciliation; forgiveness; redemption. To reject God’s redemption is the worst sort of mistake. It is the “unforgivable sin” because by definition a person rejects forgiveness in rejecting the Gospel.

On the other hand, those who do recognize God’s message for what it is are the true family of God. God’s people hear His voice and respond in acceptance and obedience.

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