Jesus, there is something about that name. As believers, Christmas brings about that time when we celebrate the birth of Jesus; or Emmanuel, God with us. For many, this time will be spent surrounded by a crowd. Crowds in the house, crowds in the stores, crowds of traffic, and crowds of around television sets watching their favorite Christmas movies, football games, or parades. Some experience a loneliness in this season, so “God with us” is good news. When you study the Scriptures, Mark 3 brings about an interesting account in the life of Jesus.
“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.’” (Mark 3:20-21 Emphasis added)
This account gives us an interesting perspective to the family of Jesus and their perceptions of his work. Not only did they question his work, but they questioned his mental stability. The family had several misconceptions of Christ. For one, they were annoyed by the large crowd following Jesus. They wanted to pull him away from the crowd, or better said, pull the crowd away from Jesus. They missed the fact that Jesus Christ had been sent to seek and save that which was lost. He came to bring salvation; how could the family try to thwart the plan of God? Another misconception was that the family thought they could “take charge” of Jesus. Many of us today think that we can force Christ to do what we want, instead of submitting to his leadership. It is foolish for us to think that we could control the one who is in control; to think we can make him do things as the Maker of all things. The final misconception, they thought he was out of his mind. We often do not understand the ways of the Lord, His plans, His path, and His story that He is writing in our lives. That doesn’t mean something is wrong with Him. Instead, it proves that there is something wrong with us, our hearts and minds are fallen and tainted by sin. That sin has caused us to have a selfish focus. I cannot help to imagine that the reason Jesus’ family reacted in such a way is to protect their own reputation, their own story, and their own plans. However, later in the passage, there is another section where Christ’s reverses our thinking about his family as well:
“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.’” (Mark 3:31-35)
This response from Jesus to his family would have tough. However, for us, this is great news! The promise is that we are a part of God’s family as we do His will. Romans 8 echoes this promise by explaining that if we are “in Christ” we are joint heirs with Christ. His inheritance is graciously ours. You are a part of this great faith family. Do not lose hope, do not despair, and do not fear. We have a faithful Father, a faithful Groom, and a faithful Savior. Here are some more take-a-ways for this holiday season:
1. Don’t be annoyed at the crowds – the Lord has placed you there among the people to do His work.
Don’t think your family is too crazy – We by nature are tainted by the sin of Adam; however, no one is too far from the grace and mercy of God’s grace – keep praying, don’t lose hope
Don’t forget to renew your mind – In the busyness of the holiday season, it’s easy to neglect the Word of God and our time with Christ. Remember what we celebrate at Christmas; don’t just celebrate Jesus, spend time with Him. This will prove to be a source of joy and strength. Also, renew your mind so you may see clearly the plan and will of God and not miss those opportunities.
Know you are loved and never alone – Emmanuel, God with us – Great news; you are never forsaken