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JESUS’S FAMILY
JESUS’S FAMILY
Mark 3:20-35
Key Verse: 3:34-35

“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.”

When we last studied Mark’s Gospel we saw that even though Jesus was performing many great miracles of healing and driving out demons and the common people were gathering around Jesus in ever greater numbers, the Pharisees – the religious leaders – were conspiring with the Herodians – those loyal to the Roman occupation – to have Jesus killed. It is amazing that the religious leaders, who had their hearts set on finding God’s chosen Messiah, would so completely reject Him when He finally arrived on the scene. However, this shows us just how easily human thinking and ambition can cloud our vision. When God does not work in the way that we think is best or in a way that takes glory away from ourselves and directs it towards Him, many people simply reject God’s way in favor of their own. We must be very careful not to fall into this group of people. God’s way is always perfect even if it doesn’t fit into our preconceived ideas.

In today’s passage, we see more of the same. Crowds of ordinary people gather around Jesus to listen to His teaching and to experience the powerful work of God in a very personal way, while the Pharisees and the members of His own family reject Him and His message. May God bless our study of this passage and open our hearts to accept Jesus as the one true Messiah.

First, even Jesus’ family do not understand His message and work (20-21) Look at verse 20. “Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat.” The news about Jesus spread very quickly and ordinary people wanted nothing more than to get the opportunity to listen to Jesus and perhaps experience His miraculous power in their own life. Therefore, when people learned that Jesus had entered a particular house, they hurried to gather around to listen to Him. These crowds made great demands on Jesus and His disciples, but Jesus never turned them away. Sacrificing His own and His disciples’ time to even eat a decent meal, Jesus served the crowds.  However, when His family heard about this, they had a much different response than the ordinary people. Look at 21. “When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.” The word here that the NIV has translated to family, could be translated as very close acquaintances, but given the context and verse 31 which specifically mentions His mother and brothers, I think this translation is accurate. It is kind of unclear why His family wanted to “take charge of Him,” or put Him into some type of house arrest. It could very well of been out of concern for His personal well being because it is clear from verse 20 that these crowds were putting a huge burden on Jesus and His disciples – they did not even have time to eat proper meals. Furthermore, they probably were aware that the religious leaders were not at all happy with what Jesus was saying and doing and they may have wanted to protect Jesus from them. On the other hand, it could be they really did think Jesus had gone crazy because the things He was saying and doing were not the things that an ordinary, sane human being would say or do. Whatever their motive was, Satan was using them to try and hinder the work of God that Jesus came to complete. Here we can learn that Satan can use even those closest to us, who may have our best interests in mind, to hinder the work that God wants us to do. Like Jesus we must learn to begin everything with prayer to try and discern what God’s will is in any circumstance.

Second, the blasphemy of the religious leaders (22-30). News about Jesus was spreading very rapidly, and it had reached all the way to Jerusalem and the religious leaders of Israel. It is likely that the reports that reached these religious leaders were extremely biased, probably having come from the Pharisees and scribes that Jesus had been rebuking in Galilee. Whatever reports they had received and however they got them, they seemed to have come down from Jerusalem with only one purpose in mind: to discredit Jesus and the teaching and work He was doing at any cost. Look at verse 22. “And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, ‘He is possessed by Beelzebul! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons.’” This was a very serious accusation, because they were calling the work of God that Jesus was doing through the Holy Spirit, the work of Satan; they were teaching the people that God’s work was evil. Jesus could have could have come out with just a harsh rebuke, but He did not do this immediately. First, He wanted to teach them in the hope that they might understand and repent before it was too late. His logic is flawless. IF Satan was working to undo the work he was already doing through his demons, then there would be no way that his kingdom could endure. This would be like a builder hiring some people to build a house and sending another to tear it down while the others were building it. The house would never get finished. So, Jesus explained that it was illogical that He would be working with Satan. If Jesus was not working with Satan, what can we learn from this. Jesus went on to tell them in verse 27. “In fact, no one can enter a strong man’s house without first tying him up. Then he can plunder the strong man’s house.” The religious leaders could not deny that Jesus was casting demons and doing great miracles, so what these leaders should have realized is that this showed conclusively that Jesus was stronger than Satan. Jesus had tied up Satan and He was plundering his house by driving out Satan’s demons from people who were not as strong as Satan.

After teaching them it was time for Jesus to rebuke them. Look at verses 28 and 29. “Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.” Jesus can forgive us of all sins, but if we are not born of water and the spirit, as he told Nicodemus, we will never be able to get into the kingdom of God. If you say that the Spirit we must be born of is the Spirit of the devil, how can God ever save you? In other words, if you reject the work of the Holy Spirit and call it the work of Satan, you have ultimately rejected the kingdom of God and God’s forgiveness. This is a very serious matter and we must never follow the example of the Pharisees and scribes from Jerusalem or we will pay eternally for our hard heartedness.

Third, Jesus’s real family (31-35). Once Jesus was finished with the Pharisees, He went back to teaching the ordinary people in a simple house. Verse 31 tells us that Jesus’ mother and brothers were standing outside. It is unclear if this is the same incident mentioned in verses 20-21, but it is clear that they wanted to come and take Jesus away from this crowd. However, to teach the people about the kingdom of God and to bring them back there as His own brothers and sisters is why Jesus came. Notice that Jesus’ mother and brothers did not enter the house themselves and tell Jesus to come home, they sent someone else in on their behalf. I’m not sure why they would do this, but perhaps they wanted to avoid a public family fight. Anyway, when Jesus was told that His mother and brothers were outside He had a very interesting response. “’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! 35 Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.’” This is exactly what the apostle John tells us in his Gospel. “Yet to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become the children of God – children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” Those that were sitting around listening and learning from Jesus accepted Him – they received Him – and He gave them the right to be children of God: His brothers and sisters. He gives us that right as well all we must do is receive Jesus, listen to Him and obey Him.

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175 HAVE FAITH IN JESUS 23
174 PARABLES ABOUT THE KINGDOM OF GOD 16
173 LISTEN TO THE WORD OF GOD 17
172 JESUS’S FAMILY 25
171 FOLLOW JESUS 22
170 People from all over come to Jesus 23
169 JESUS IS LORD OF THE SABBATH 18
168 THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS NEAR 123
167 THE BEGINNING OF THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST, THE SON OF GOD 110
166 ZECHARIAH’S SONG 61
165 JESUS IS THE WAY 103
164 The gift of God 91
163 The Word Became Flesh 103
162 The Power of Prayer 1031
161 Repentance That Leads to Life 202
160 Jesus Is Lord of All 174
159 Living as a child of God 178
158 The Church Multiplies 337
157 God’s Chosen Instrument 246
156 He Has Redeemed His People 281
155 Preach the Word Wherever You Go 556
154 The Spread of the Word of God 343
153 The God of Jeshurun 431
152 God’s Words Are Our Life 300
151 The Things Revealed Belong to Us and Our Children Forever 443
150 Walk in Obedience to God 301
149 The Righteous Will Live by Faith 346
148 The People of the Lord 310
147 You Are God’s Chosen People 318
146 Deal Honestly with Others 325
145 Remember What the Lord Has Done for You 387
144 The Lord Wants to Bless His People 350
143 Love Your Neighbor as Yourself 313
142 Therefore, Go and Make Disciples 338
141 The Lord Fights for You 329
140 Love the Lord Your God and Walk in His Ways 372
139 The Lord is Your Inheritance 315
138 The Word Became Flesh 359
137 Follow Justice 411
136 Your Joy Will Be Complete 412
135 God Will Richly Bless You 445
134 A People Holy to the Lord 577
133 Hold Fast to the Lord 450
132 Be Careful to Obey the Lord Your God 470
131 Love the Lord Your God 581
130 A Savior Has Been Born 520
129 What God Requires of You 693
128 God Goes Before You to Keep His Promise 470
127 The Righteous Will Live By His Faith 510
126 The Lord’s Prayer 594
125 Do Not Forget the Lord 696
124 A People Holy to the Lord Your God 1133
123 Walk in Obedience 668
122 Keep His Decrees and Commands 545
121 The Lord Your God Will Fight for You! 590
120 Follow the Lord Wholeheartedly 412
119 The Grace of Jesus Be with You 488
118 Mutual Edification 553
117 Living a Victorious Christian Life 464
116 Be Transformed by the Renewing of Your Mind 501
115 God’s Remnant 518
114 God’s Message to the World 474
113 JESUS FEEDS THE FIVE THOUSAND 382
112 God’s Sovereignty 477
111 More Than Conquerors 443
110 Free to Live by the Spirit 589
109 Now We Belong to Jesus 438
108 Dead to Sin, Alive to God 408
107 God Demonstrates His Love 598
106 Finish the Race 478
105 Feed My Sheep 404
104 Saving Faith: The Faith of Abraham 398
103 Seek First His Kingdom 392
102 God Justifies Sinners by His Grace 458
101 God’s Righteous Judgment [1] 396
100 God’s Creation Reveals God’s Invisible Qualities 546
99 A Righteousness From God 438
98 The Lord Restores Job 537
97 God Is Mighty But Despises No One 456
96 Let Us Learn Together What Is Good 528
95 Fix Your Eyes on Jesus 369
94 Jesus: God's Gift 428
93 The Word Became Flesh 444
92 God Grants Life and Steadfast Love 675
91 What is Mankind That God Notices Us? 642
90 Blessed is the One Whom God Corrects 578
89 The Great Deception 581
88 The Risen Jesus’ Command and Promise 515
87 Jesus’ Death Opened the Way to God 520
86 Jesus' Prayer and Victory, Peter’s Pride and Failure 570
85 The Blood of the Covenant 503
84 When the Son of Man Comes 555
83 The Son of Man is Coming 653
82 Jesus’ Shepherd Heart for the Religious Leaders 548
81 BE TRANSFORMED 652
80 What Do You Think About the Messiah? 578
79 The Banquet 542
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