Lent Day 17

Mark 3:31 – 35, Jesus’ brother

Family — can’t live with ‘em, can’t live without ‘em. Member of our families have a unique ability to push our buttons and they have had years of practice to get it just right. Proverbs tells us that, “Iron sharpens iron, and one person sharpens the wits of another” (27:17), and never do we feel that more acutely than with our relatives. (Can I get an Amen on that?)

I’m sure Jesus’ brother has never forgotten what happened when they both were young. The family traveled all the way to Jerusalem for the high holidays, and on the way back home, Jesus was nowhere to be found. He puts the entire family in a panic because as everyone knows, he is mother’s favorite. The rest of us just wanted to get home, play with our lambs, and sleep in our own beds, but, n-o-o-o-o. Jesus had to go and get himself lost. So, we all had to go back to the city and look for him. Then three days later when Jesus was finally found, he didn’t even say he was sorry. He kept saying that line of his about “having to be in his Father’s house” (Luke 2:49). Well, guess what brother dear, your father’s house is back in Nazareth!

It is not surprising that we find this tension mentioned in Mark’s gospel because Mark’s gospel is full of tension. It is the first gospel to appear in written form and throughout the gospel, Jesus is frustrated at every turn. His disciples don’t get what he is trying to do — even when they witness his miracles first hand. The religious leaders don’t get what he is talking about and they are mad. Even his family — including Mary – try to define what being the messiah means even when they don’t believe he really is the messiah. Sometimes, they think he is crazy. The only ones who really understand who he and what is trying to accomplish are the demons, and they are not exactly the best character witnesses.

We all know what it is like to have tension in the home or in our families, even in our church family – to feel that those closest to us just don’t get us or what we feel God has called us to do. We can even feel as if they are forcing us to make a choice – Sundays are for God or them, and it can’t be both..

Hang in there, my friends. God must stay the # 1 priority in our lives, no matter how it bothers our blood relatives or our spiritual ones. The tension you feel is the same as Jesus had to deal with so you have a sympathetic ear. Remember blessed is the one who endures trial, for when we have stood the test, we will receive the crown of life which God has promised to those who love God (James 1:12)