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Summary: It is our actions that prove our faith

Apprenticing Under The Master August 7, 2005

Mark 3:7- 35 (20-35)

Jesus’ True Family

In between university and seminary I built houses (for three days until I got a better paying job at a steel mill) I was hired on as an unskilled labourer, but I felt like I was apprenticing for those three days. I knew some basic carpentry, but I learned a lot in those three days – my boss liked to yell when you weren’t doing something the right way, or his way. When we were nailing a floor or a roof down, I’d often work backwards so that I could see where I’d already nailed, and I’d be able to follow the line and be sure to hit the joist that I was hammering into. My boss would catch me and yell out, “a horse don’t work backward!” I think he was trying to keep me from falling off the house.

There are times when we are apprenticing under the master that he needs to correct the ways that we do things, correct the way that we think about things, or correct unhelpful habits. In this passage, Jesus corrects both his family, and the Pharisees in this passage

The movement around Jesus is building – more and more people are coming to him to be healed: so many that Jesus asks Peter to have a boat ready just incase he needs to escape the crowds as they press in on him to be healed. He has chosen his inner-circle of 12; they are a motley crew of fishermen, a tax collector, a freedom fighter, or terrorist…

Read verse 20-35

On reflecting on the things that Jesus says about himself – that he is the unique Son of God, on equal footing with God and able to forgive sins, C.S. Lewis wrote “A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said wouldn’t be a great moral teacher; he would either be a lunatic – on the level with a man who says he is a poached egg – or else he would be the devil of hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was and is the Son of God, or a madman or something worse… but don’t lets come up with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He hasn’t left that open to us. He didn’t intend to.”

In this passage Jesus is accused of both insanity and evil.

Word has got back to Jesus’ family of all that he is doing and saying. They are not sure of what to make of this.

It’s hard to know what is going through Mary’s heart and mind at this time – she experienced the miracles of his birth, she heard the prophesies of his greatness, she knew that he was different than all the other children, from John 2 we know that she knew of his miraculous abilities, but she and the family are not sure about his present behavior. If nothing else, he is putting himself in a very dangerous position.

They show up at the house were Jesus is, and there are so many people that they can’t even get access to him. Has that ever happened to you? You’ve got a really good friend or family member who you’re very close to and they get their 15 minutes of fame, and you can’t even get close enough to them to say hi? It can make you a little put out. Imagine Mary, a Jewish mother, not being able to get to her son!

And then someone in the crowd says, “I’m not sure that you’re going to be able to talk to him, he and his disciples are so busy, they haven’t even taken a break to eat today!”

“He’s not eating? He’s not eating! Oy ve! He’s lost his mind!”

While Jesus gives an argument to the Pharisees’ charge that he is possessed by a demon, he doesn’t argue with his family about his mental health.

There are not too many people who would say “Jesus was a nice guy, but he was delusional about this whole Son of God thing,” but there may be some.

The Psychology wards at the hospital usually have a few people who think that they are the Son of God at any given time.

But Jesus’ character does not match a delusional person.

The very fact that he spends so much time healing people points to a very sane person. The mentally ill people and delusional people that I have known have a very small universe – it begins and ends with themselves, the whole world, whether for good or for evil, revolves around them. Even high functioning delusional people: the kinds who start cults and such, have a universe that revolves around themselves. Jesus, on the other hand, has a very large universe. He is forever loving people, not looking for their love. He is forever giving attention away, not trying to receive attention. He says things like “I have come into the world to serve, not to be served;” and he backs those statements up with a life that is laid down for his friends – both in life and in death. Jesus does not hoard power, he gives it away, even the power to heal and cast out demons! Delusional people are usually trying to get attention, and service, and power, not give it away.

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