Summary: In this text Mark shows us what it takes to be in God’s family – who it is that makes us God’s family. We’ll see that it requires a radical commitment, but has radical benefits.
WHO IS IN GOD’S FAMILY?
Becoming a part of Anne’s family required a radical commitment:
My family was not very “hands on.” We didn’t hug or kiss very much at all. But in Anne’s family, you could not leave a family meal or gathering of any kind without kissing everyone in sight. You had to kiss mom, grandmas, aunts, even longtime friends. Try as I might, there was just no getting around it. If I tried to make a quick or sudden escape to avoid this ritual that was very uncomfortable to me, they always foiled my plans. I’d turn around and all the relatives would be lined up, like a gauntlet, at the front door. There was not other way out… But I really wanted in the family, wanted the benefits, so I learned to express affection to them all. And you know what? It was worth it!
Today Mark will show us what it takes to be in God’s family – who it is that makes us God’s family. It also requires a radical commitment, but has radical benefits. He will begin by showing us who is not in the family, what does not work, and then he will show us who is in God’s family, what it takes to be a part. We will finish with the startling results of being in the family. It all begins in Mark chapter 3, verse 20. Turn there with me, please.
As I read Mark 3:20-21, we will be introduced to Jesus’ physical family. Notice their view of Jesus.
A. His family thinks he is deluded
This is Jesus’ own family – his flesh and blood. Phrase is unusual, could be friends, or those close. Some translate it thus. But context makes it clear, this is his family. They think he is mad, crazy, out of his mind. What led them to think this?
1. His physical condition
Jesus has been out in the country, by the lake, and now returns to town. Hearing that he was there, a large, unruly crowd gathers at the house. So insistent was the crowd, and so intense their needs, they wouldn’t let him eat even “a piece of bread.”
He was so immersed in ministry that he wasn’t talking care of himself.
Illus: We all have times when we are so busy we skip a meal. But if your spouse gets so absorbed they don’t eat for a day, or two, we think something is definitely wrong. Going overboard, for sure.
But it wasn’t just his physical condition that made them think he was mad, but also
2. His religious enthusiasm
They thought he was a mentally unbalanced religious fanatic. If you heard that your brother was talking about the kingdom of God being near, forgiving people’s sins, and reportedly healing sick people and casting out demons, what’d you think?
So, burdened with care, they went to save him from himself – to arrest him, take custody of him. To bring him home before he hurts himself. They want to prevent him from carrying out his “mission.”
Now, this is Jesus family. These are the people who know him best, are closest to him. They care for Jesus, are sympathetic to him, but they didn’t believe him.
John brings this out clearly. Read. John 7:5
They are blind.
B. We often think we are close enough to Jesus to be in his family
A lot of times, we think we are close enough. But Jesus points out there are no automatic relationships. His brothers don’t get special treatment – they didn’t believe him.
Even though to this point John and a voice from heaven have heralded him, crowds have followed him, the lame are restored, the blind see, the diseased made well, and the demonized are freed, they don’t believe him.
We think because we have contact with Jesus – we go to church, after all, we hang around with others who know Jesus, etc. This is not enough, it does not make you part of God’s family.
We learn this when we leave home – our parent’s faith, our girlfriend’s faith, our spouse’s faith is not enough. The faith we had has younger people…
I. BEING CLOSE TO JESUS DOESN’T MAKE US A PART OF GOD’S FAMILY
Having contact with or being related to someone who has contact with Jesus does not make us a member of his true family. The good news is that you don’t have to have special connections… Even those ‘close’ to Jesus can be blind to who he is. It takes a vital, personal relationship with Christ to be a member of God’s family. In a few minutes we’ll see the defining characteristic of such a relationship.
Trans.: We’ve seen one group of people who are not in God’s family. They think they are, but they aren’t. Being close to Jesus isn’t enough. Mark shows us another group, type of person who is not a member of the family. Read with me Mark 3:22