I don’t know about where you live, but here in South Carolina, Spring has begun to show itself. The weather has gotten warmer, the birds are singing and the trees have started to bud. One of the first things that buds around here are the red bud trees. When they begin to bloom, it feels as if, God took an artist brush and simply dabbed little bits of reds and pinks in random places in and among all the sleeping oaks, and maples. I love when the red buds bloom. It reminds me of God’s artistry.
Over all I have been feeling lighter. The weather has played a big part of that, but also starting our Blogging Through the Bible session on the Gospel of Mark has been a wonderful blessing for me. I feel like the struggle through Job is over and now I can look forward to Easter, by celebrating the life of Jesus.
In addition, over the past few weeks I have been reading through the book, 40 Days of Decrease by Alicia Britt Chole. This book has been a wonderful resource to go through as a companion to Mark and as a preparation for Easter. I will be writing a full review soon, so keep an eye out.
I am really glad to be diving into the book of Mark, and yet at the same time when I have spent time studying about Jesus he never acts like I expect him to and that makes me a little bit uncomfortable. We often have a view of Jesus as a man who is always kind and compassionate to everyone. I believe he is all that, but I also find that he doesn’t act the way we would act or expect him to act in certain circumstances. Lets look at one example in particular.
In Mark chapter 3 we see Jesus’ family wrestling with how exactly they should respond to him. He wasn’t acting like they expected him to behave, and he was causing trouble with the religious leaders. Try and picture yourself as the mother of Jesus in this situation.
You are at home tending to your normal everyday chores, and your youngest comes running into the house, “Mommy, Jesus is at it again.” Knowing full well what that means you call in your older sons to come and help you bring him home.
“The Jesus entered a house and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, ‘He is out of his mind.’” Mark 3:20-21
Jesus doesn’t come, instead he talks to the religious leaders. I picture here some of Jesus’ cousins, or extended family watching the scene, maybe even talking to the religious leaders, trying to smooth some feathers. These leaders would not be smoothed over. Jesus simply goes on about his teaching, and even pointing out the sins of the religious leaders, and their faulty way of thinking. They didn’t want to accept Jesus as the Messiah
Then his mom arrives on the scene with his brothers, and they ask Jesus to come out of the house and talk with them. Remember Jesus is in a home that is so full he can barely move. How did Jesus respond?
“’Who are my mother and my brothers?’ he asked. Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.’” Mark 3:33-35
The truth of Jesus’ words are a huge comfort for us today, but can you picture yourself as Jesus’ mother in this scene? Standing outside waiting, and then finding out he isn’t coming out? I would be hurt, if I had been Mary. I would have gone to the house to try to talk some sense into my son, and then feel that rejection, and public shaming. It would have been painful.
I believe that Jesus responds to us like this more often than we might expect. He responds in ways that we are not expecting. It can be so easy for us to live our lives believing that the cultural way of doing life is the only way, and then Jesus calls us to step outside of that and trust him. It can feel that Jesus has pushed us aside, and even abandoned us at times. I believe that often a situation may feel one way, but often isn’t what we assume it to be.
I pray that our hearts will be tender, and willing to trust our Savior even when he behaves in a way that is startling or unsettling. It doesn’t mean his character has changed. It simple means that he is focused on doing the work that the Father has given him. That is where our focus should be as well. We are often caught up with what people are going to think about us or what impact a certain action will have on our daily lives. Mary was probably concerned for the safety of her son, here he was getting into a ‘heated discussion’ with the top religious leaders of the day. Not exactly the best way to life a long life. Jesus is also calling us to live our lives with His goals in mind, and with His end game as our focus. Are you willing to brave that sort of life today?
This post is a part of the Blogging through the Bible series with Good Morning Girls. For more information and FREE resources please click the button below.