Summary: By confronting the attitudes of the Jewish Leaders, and recognising the challenges which not-yet-believing family can bring on our faith, Jesus issues a warning that it is possible to commit the unforgivable sin.
“You Can Commit The Unforgivable Sin”
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We all know that Jesus had a mother. But did you also know that Jesus was raised in a family. Matthew 13:54-56 tells us a little about this family.
Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. "Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?" they asked. "Isn't this the carpenter's son? Isn't his mother's name Mary, and aren't his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? Aren't all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?"
4 brothers. At least 2 sisters.
At least 7 siblings … with Jesus the oldest.
It would not have been easy.
We know Jesus was very intelligent - at age 12 temple rabbis with His wisdom. A discussion around the table creates debate. Then Jesus gives the answer and everyone knows He is right.
Jesus also had a perfect character - Mary would be talking to Simon, “Are you lying to me?” I will know - I’ll just ask Jesus.
Jesus always obeyed His parents. Mary walks into the girl’s bedroom - “Why can’t you keep your room more tidy, like Jesus”.
Imagine what happened when Mary started talking about when they were born … “a star came out, Magi from 1000’s of km away came with expensive gifts.” Any other birth story is kind of … well boring.
We get some hints at the impact of the difficulty in John 7:5 which tells us that, when it came to the ministry of Jesus, “not even his brothers believed in him”. The first time in the Bible where it is mentioned that the brothers of Jesus believed is after the ascension in Acts 1:14.
As a quick aside … the fact that even the family of Jesus didn’t believe is encouraging to us isn’t it.
Because even when you speak the Gospel perfectly … that doesn’t guarantee a response.
Ultimately it is the grace of God that works in God’s timing. So never give up on not-yet-believing family.
Jesus family didn’t always appreciate what Jesus was on about. In fact there was a time when they thought He was insane.
Read Mark 3:20-30
Even His own family think He is crazy.
A little religion can be a good thing, but Jesus had become a fanatic.
He wasn’t following the traditions of the elders.
He was suffering from delusions of grandeur.
If there were insane asylums in Jesus’ day, He would have been taken away by men in a straight-jacket. And the ones who would do the committing would be His own family.
Why is the family so concerned? What would lead them to the conclusion that He has gone over the edge? Well think about some of the facts.
Jesus had thrown away personal security. He’s left a good home and a good business and became a wandering preacher. There are times when He has had no place to sleep except outside. He has very few worldly possessions.
Jesus had also thrown away personal safety. Here is Jesus in the early part of His ministry and already He is on a collision course with the religious establishment.
Jesus was throwing away His reputation. He is no longer an unknown from Nazareth. He is becoming a celebrity … and all sorts of people where making judgements about Him.
Now, if it was just Jesus being affected by these issues that would be OK. However these decisions of Jesus were also affecting the reputation of His family.
In recent times there has been a growing desire to force parents to pay for the damage caused by their delinquent children. Part of the reason behind this approach is the subtle message that these children act a certain way because they are reflecting the values of their home.
Now it doesn’t apply in all cases.
But the perception is certainly there.
There is a sense where people believe that the apple does not fall far from the tree.
When the fanaticism of Jesus becomes so intense that He and His disciples are not eating anymore … well that shows how bad it has become. And people are starting to say things which reflect on the family. And now the family has decided that enough is enough. They try and distance themselves from Jesus by declaring that He is out of His mind.
These experiences happened to Jesus. And He calls us to do the same.
35 For I have come to turn “a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—36a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.”
Following Jesus gives you ultimate purpose in life. Following Jesus is the only road to eternity. But following Jesus is not a walk in the park.