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Having chosen his twelve, Jesus resumes his ministry in Galilee, and he finds both popularity and opposition.
He is so popular that people crowd him in such a way that Jesus and his disciples are not able to "eat bread," that is, (P) to eat anything.
At the same time opposition intensifies with accusations of demon possession from the Jerusalem authorities.
His popularity alarms his family and friends.
This concern bookends our text in Mark.
Mark 3:20-21 "those who are close to him" (NRSV says "his family") heard about how the crowds were hindering his own self-care and they concluded that he was "out of his mind" or "he is beside himself" (literally, "he is not himself").
At the end of our text in Mark 3:31-35 Jesus family (P) that is his ("mother and brothers") arrive.
Perhaps these two groups are the same (as the NRSV translation seems to state) but they may have been two different groups or connected groups.
Perhaps the first group alerted the family and the family came to help with the situation.
It is difficult to know with certainty.
However we read it, (P) some believed that Jesus was out of control.
His popularity was too much.
They felt that they needed to extract Jesus from the situation.
Perhaps Jesus family shows up to take him home and end the circus.
They attempt an intervention (P) they came to quote "master" or "seize" him.
But they cannot get to him because of the crowds.
They misread what Jesus is doing.
They fail to see the prophetic mantle Jesus assumed at his baptism. That is to herald the kingdom of God and gather a new community in which God will reign.
Jesus has just assembled his twelve and he has started the process to disciple them.
The crowds are overwhelming but the mission is paramount.
The family does not see the momentous moment in which Jesus is engaged.
This is the context in which we hear Jesus question, "Who are my mother and brothers?" (3:33).
Jesus raises questions of priorities and relationships.
In answer, Jesus looks at those seated around him--perhaps the twelve, yet perhaps including more as "sisters" are included 3:35--(P) and he says:
"Here are my mother and sister and brother." Something has shifted.
We need not think that he is rejecting his physical mother and brothers.
Instead, he acknowledges that there is something more important than blood lines in the kingdom of God.
The community of disciples dedicated to do the will of God is more important; it is his "New" family--mother, brothers and sisters.
The kingdom of God establishes a new "blood" line for disciples; (P) it is a new community.
Between these bookends regarding Jesus ministry lies an important (P) bookmark.
In both Mark 3:22 and Mark 3:30, (P) Jesus is accused of (P) demon possession.
It is the Teachers of the law from Jerusalem that make the accusation.
Jesus has attracted crowds from Judea and Jerusalem (Mark 3:8) and this has apparently raised concerns among the leaders (P) in Jerusalem.
It seems likely that the Sanhedrin ...the ruling Jewish Council in Jerusalem... sent an investigative
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