Posted by on Jun 7, 2021 in Pastor's Blog | Comments Off on One Family in God:

Our gospel lesson for this 2nd Sunday after Pentecost is from Mark 3:20-35. The gospel writer of this gospel doesn’t waste time with words that do not contribute toward the message he wants to have read. Mark gets right to the point and sometimes doesn’t always include some details.

In this section, Mark notes that even though Jesus has not been on His mission for a long time, he has already garnered the attention of a lot of people. He has gotten the attention of his earthly family as well as the scribes from Jerusalem.

The family pulls him aside and wants him to keep quiet for his own protection. They want to restrain him from saying much. The scribes from Jerusalem say that they believe Jesus is possessed by the devil because he casts out demons.

Jesus asks them how can Satan cast out Satan? He asks them how can a kingdom divided remain and then asks his family how a house can stand if people within the house are divided. In essence, Jesus is asks why people are trying to attribute things to Satan that really belong to God. In doing that, they commit blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.

In Jesus time, the family was a very important part of the country and of a person’s life. However, even the family of Jesus doesn’t really know how to react to the Son of God. Mark emphasizes this misunderstanding in this section of his gospel.

In actuality, Jesus and his followers were in Capernaum at this point. There had been no time for Jesus to rest or even eat. His main focus was the needs of his ministry. But, Jesus wanted some time to be with family. The family found the scribes there and wanted to protect Jesus and keep him quiet.

The scribes tried to attack Jesus reputation, not him personally. It was at this point, that Jesus began to speak in parables…to make it evident that the accusations were empowered by Satan and that the actual subject that was being addressed was kingdom division.

He specifically states in verse 28 that “truly I will tell you, people will be forgiven for their sins and whatever blasphemies they utter, but who ever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit can never have forgiveness.”

The scribes don’t really understand about forgiveness of sin…and that it cannot be demanded. We can actually see that the scribes, in their statements, cut themselves off from forgiveness and reconciliation. Why? Because casting out demons shows a greater power and authority they didn’t acknowledge or accept.

Then, Jesus goes on to talk with his family. His mother and brother came out and wanted to visit with him. Jesus was told they were there…and went on to question who was His family. He, instead, looked at the crowd around him and said that everyone around him, who does the will of God are His family.

I’m sure this was a difficult statement for his family to hear. However, what Jesus is really doing is including ALL of the people around as part of His family. Those who we owe love, honor, allegiance to is not a small circle…rather it is a very large group of people. This was true of Jesus and is also true of us.

Family for us is everyone who loves God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength. One writer I was studying said this, “We don’t leave home to come to church. We leave home to go home to be with the other members of our family in God.” What do you think about greeting people to are in church with the words, “Welcome home!”

Yes…during this past year, when we have not had physical contact with our families, both those we were born into, but also into our church family, we have realized what we have missed. It has been good for all of us to be able to physically see our families….and to be together in our church home again.

Our church home is the place of renewal for us. Our focus in our church home is on the One who has saved us. The one who has made us part of His family. It is a place of renewal and strengthening to go out and be the disciples that we have been called to be. This peace gained within our church home is to be shared with all we meet. We are part of God’s family…God’s kingdom…united. We can grow through our worship that builds up the Body of Christ.

What are we being asked to do to build up the Body of Christ in our world? We gain strength being together in worship so that we can go out and help eliminate the divisions we see so prominent.

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