Summary: Jesus was misunderstood by his father and mother, his family, political forces, and his followers (Seed thoughts from Back to God Hour, February 1989, Volume 35, Number 2)


John began to think about how blessed he was to have such a wonderful wife, and he decided to show his appreciation. So he went out and bought a box of candy and a dozen roses. When he got home, he decided to ring the door bell and surprise her. When Mary answered the door bell and saw him with candy and roses, she burst into tears. "What's wrong?" he insisted. "It's been a horrible day," she cried out. "The baby's been sick, the washing machine broke down -- and now you come home drunk!"


Ever been misunderstood? It's easy to be misunderstood. Misunderstanding happens all the time. This morning I’m talking about more than a simple breakdown in communication. How do we deal with it when people believe that we are wasting our lives and devalue us as human beings? How do we cope if we are deeply misunderstood in our way of life? What do we do if our words are twisted, our motives are challenged, and our actions are questioned?

Jesus was often misunderstood in this way.

Thesis: Jesus was misunderstood by:

His father and mother- Luke 2:41-52

This is the only story we have of Jesus when he was a child/ teenager (at age 13 considered a man). We have accounts of his birth, infancy and toddler years, but little else before the age of 30 except this.

How could his parents forget about Jesus? Have we ever left a child behind?

The next day Joseph and Mary retraced their steps. No Jesus so retraced all the way back to Jerusalem. After 3 days they finally found him in the temple in Jerusalem. By the time they found Jesus, they were frantic. They had the same unique feeling we parents feel when we find our lost child. Inside two opposite emotions: overwhelming relief and joy because we have found the child, and rising anger because of what the child has done to us. Mary’s first words to Jesus display what she and Joseph felt (vs. 48).

Jesus is engaging in the give and take that young Jewish boys engage in when they were getting ready to become full fledged adults. The teachers in the temple were astonished at Jesus’ understanding of the Scriptures. With that Jesus said (Vs. 49)

Ever wonder if Jesus understands families? Does Jesus understand when children/ teens have trouble understanding their parents and parents understanding their children? Yes, he does. We see here a deep misunderstanding between Jesus and his parents.

We see at the age of 12 Jesus was aware of his mission as the Messiah. He has an intimate relationship with his true Father. Considering that Joseph and Mary had experienced his miraculous conception, his birth, the shepherds and wise men, it seems that they would have a better grasp than anyone of the uniqueness of Jesus. However, it says in vs. 50...

In this we can see that Jesus is going to be misunderstood over and over again. His own parents’ failure to understand his mission is the start of a mountain of misunderstandings.

His family- Mark 3:20-21, 31-35

When I say his family here I am talking about Jesus’ brothers. John 7:5 says that his brothers did not believe in him. Imagine growing up with Jesus? We can infer that Joseph has died so Mary is being taken care of by Jesus brothers.

Imagine Jesus, after the death of Joseph and as the eldest son, taking care of his mother and taking care of the family’s carpentry business until the age of 30. When he is around 30 years old, One day Jesus goes to be baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River and after that he gives up his responsibilities with his family and goes into ministry. Image the difficult transitions that would have occurred in the family because of this.

Mark 3 is early in Jesus’ ministry. Jesus is performing miracles by curing many of sicknesses and disabilities. He is driving out evil spirits. We find in Mark 3 that the opposition to Jesus is getting serious- “Then the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus.” Mark 3:6, NIV. Jesus is becoming a popular preacher and many crowds around him all the time so that in vs. 20 he and his disciples do not have time to eat.

Imagine Mary being concerned about Jesus not being able to eat. Mary wants to mother her son and protect and provide for him. His brothers feel like Jesus is getting too big for his britches, “Who does he think he is?” so they go to try to reign him in, take charge of him.

Jesus uses this occasion to broaden the concept of family. This is important for the church.

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