Sunday Service 14/02/21 Mark 3:20-35
There is a song in the 1949 musical South Pacific
That has the following lyrics:
“You’ve got to be taught to hate and fear.
You’ve got to be taught from year to year.
It’s got to be drummed in your dear little ear.
You’ve got to be carefully taught.
You’ve got to be taught to be afraid of
people whose eyes are oddly made and
people whose skin is a different shade.
You’ve got to be carefully taught.
You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late,
before you are 6 or 7 or 8,
to hate all the people your relatives hate.
You’ve got to be carefully taught.”
Think for a moment about what
you have been carefully taught.
V21 – When his family heard about this,
they went to take charge of him,
for they said, “He is out of his mind.”
The family of Jesus thought he had to be
out of his mind because of what he was doing.
This is the first accusation in this passage.
When I went to tell my mum and dad
That Lynne and I were thinking about getting engaged,
He looked at me with some shock,
And asked me how was I going to support her?
His reaction wasn’t positive
When I told him that I was going to study for ministry and
she was going to look after me while I studied.
Responding to the call of God is quite something,
And while you are ministering in different situations
there are a variety of responses.
People watch you,
pay attention to your words to spot your mistakes,
they squirm in your presence at funeral wakes
or wedding receptions because they
do not know what to say to a minister.
Others try to keep you at arms length or
hold you to a much higher standard than anyone else –
I know people were shocked when they saw me
Walking about with a guitar case,
Or that I liked and then owned a motorbike or
went away on trips with others on motorbikes.
The family of Jesus came to “Take charge of him,”
The Greek word is Karatesai –
to detain, retain, hold fast, or to lay hold of.
They really did think that he was crazy,
out of his mind.
In v22 the teachers of the law who
came from Jerusalem said,
“He is possessed by Beelzebul!
By the prince of demons his is driving out demons.’
This is the second accusation.
He is possessed by the prince of demons.
No horns, no tail, not dressed in red.
The implication if the word daimonion is
That Jesus has a spirit which is inferior to God
But superior to men,
Or that He is an evil spirit or amongst the
Messengers and ministers of the devil.
This is about who directs Jesus’ path,
Who gives Him council,
Because the religious leaders and His family
Are not sure at best and utterly convinced
He is not doing these things from God.
What you’ve been carefully taught?
Some would say that Satan knows all about us.
The he knows our deepest, darkest secrets,
our deepest fears, sins and everything with which we struggle.
But if that is true it would make him the same as God.
And we know that he is not.
He may well copy some of the things of God,
But that does not mean he has the power to
Act in the way that he wants.
It is only we who can give him that power,
God never did.
If God never shared His power with Satan
in the first place,
then Satan cannot know us as God does.
What do we believe we have been taught in this?
The same is true of the church.
What have we been taught about it?
All too often churches appear to be divided houses.
Places subject to the powers of hostility,
recrimination and enmity between
ideological groups and factions.
There are the things that can divide us:
discrimination, materialism, militarism, power,
racism and all the other “isms” we have
been carefully taught by our family, relatives,
churches or society.
But it is not rocket science to appreciate
That even our enemy might learn what
We disagree over, without needing to have
Some divine like character to ascertain that.
In v31 – 33 Jesus asks
“Who are my mother and my brothers?”
Who are our brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers?
What people comprise our family, our church?
Who are the people who have carefully taught us?
Jesus’ answer makes it fairly plain in v34 – 35
“Whoever does God’s will is my brother
and sister and mother.”
Jesus does not call us to forsake our families.
Instead, we are called to discipleship,
to serve God and He joins us to a
set of people who can become our
brothers and sisters of faith.
However, that means that the family we are joined to
Might not be people of faith too.
How, if we are adopted into the family of God
At what point did that start for us –
Not when we joined,
or at least what we understand in terms of the word “joined.”
We became part of the family of God
Potentially at the point of the crucifixion and resurrection,
And it was worked out over the millennia.
That means that the family of god is composed of
all the people that Christ Jesus calls us to serve.
Such as the homeless, the hungry, the misfits,
Those who object to the counsel of God –
At this time.
I wonder if that’s what going and making disciples means.
While our natural family may not understand us,
in Christ we have a new family that
is not always perfect,
nor do we all agree with one another.
But the one thing we must do is love each other
because we are IN CHRIST,
and love those who are not in Christ YET
because we do not know what the activity
of God will do to them.
Conclusion: If we are truly IN CHRIST, CHRIST IS IN US! Christ Jesus does not promise riches; rather, we are called to live amongst those who love Jesus in this community. We are called to be the family of Christ where the misfits, the crazies and rejected of society come to find acceptance, healing, wholeness and love. This I believe is what God is calling me and you to be and do. — You must let go of the past so that we can move into the future as a united family that loves each other in spite of our differences.