Grace Words

A Daily Bible Reader's Blog

Presented by Mike Tune, Pulpit Minister for the Church of Christ in Falls Church and Amazing Grace International

Sunday, November 17. Mark 1 – 4

“He’s nuts!”

That was the verdict of Jesus’ family and Mark mentions it early in his account (3:20-21). As a result, they “went to take charge of him.” The phrase translates one word used four times later in chapter fourteen and there translated “arrest.”

There is here an animosity against Jesus by his own family similar to the animosity of those who would later put him to death. It is the same kind of enmity that has filled chapter three. The religious leaders were watching for a reason to kill him and strangely, they found it when Jesus healed a man with a shriveled hand.

Why are these people so opposed to Jesus?

We are not told. Perhaps it was jealousy. Perhaps they were afraid their place of leadership was being challenged by this former carpenter from Galilee. Perhaps they felt Jesus’ revival wave would cause too much of a disturbance in Palestine and invite closer scrutiny by the Romans.

But in the end, reasons for rejecting Jesus do not matter. There is no good reason to reject Jesus.

Why does Mark paint Jesus’ family in such an unfavorable light? Perhaps because his readers have likewise suffered at the rejection of their families. Perhaps because his readers knew that Jesus’ family (at least some of them – James and Jude for example) became believers, giving hope for change in their own families. Or perhaps to underscore this one salient point: you cannot be a part of Jesus’ family without doing the will of God.