Wednesday March 18, 2020
31 Then his mother and his brothers came; and standing outside, they sent to him and called him. 32 A crowd was sitting around him; and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers and sisters are outside, asking for you.” 33 And he replied, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” 34 And looking at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 35 Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”Mark 3:31-35 (NRSV)
In this passage, we see Jesus, who was in the middle of teaching a group of His followers, being interrupted by a request from his own family to speak with Him. His response to their request was with a question: “Who are my mother and my brothers?”, followed by a statement, “Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”
I feel as though if any one of us said something like that in response to our family wanting to speak with us, we would be lectured by our mother to show a little respect.
But why did his family make the journey together about a days travel on foot from Nazareth to Capernaum where Jesus was teaching?
In the same chapter of Mark, verse 21 reads: “When his family heard it [that Jesus was healing people and casting out demons], they went out to restrain him, for people were saying, ‘He has gone out of his mind.'”
Christ’s family traveled to Capernaum, and wanted to speak with Him, because they were concerned about Him, but they also made that journey because they struggled with the reality of who Jesus, their son and brother, was.
Therefore, when Jesus was told that his family was outside waiting for Him, He knew why they were there, and He had to send the message that although He loved them, that He was on a mission now, and that His prime concern was following the Will of God, the Father, and serving those within the Family of God, which was becoming much larger than before.
Pastors around the nation, and in other countries around the world, are struggling with knowing what the Will of God is at a time when they have decided to close the doors of the church building in order to protect their congregation and their community. Over the last week, I have seen church leaders have to make significant decisions in a matter of hours and days, and all of us are trying to think of ways to connect with people in a meaningful way when we cannot see them face to face.
What this passage today teaches us is that though we all may be separated, that we are all still brothers and sisters within the Family of God through Jesus Christ.
Church leaders are working just as hard, if not harder, to make sure that we connect with our members and with our community at this time.
Parents are working just as hard, if not harder, to care for their families and to lead them in prayer.
And individuals are praying just as much, if not more, than before.
What is God calling you to do to make the best of this situation?
How can you continue to share the message and love of God to others?