11 – Christ’s Family
Then he went home, and the crowd gathered again, so that they could not even eat. And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for they were saying, “He is out of his mind.”
And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and “by the prince of demons he casts out the demons.” And he called them to him and said to them in parables, “How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but is coming to an end. But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. Then indeed he may plunder his house. Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the children of man, and whatever blasphemies they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”— for they were saying, “He has an unclean spirit.”
And his mother and his brothers came, and standing outside they sent to him and called him. And a crowd was sitting around him, and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers are outside, seeking you.” And he answered them, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” And looking about at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.”
- Beelzebul: Another name for Satan
- Parables: Stories that teach a spiritual lesson
- To plunder: To steal
- To blaspheme: To speak against God
Who are the people that you expect to be loyal to you?
In what ways can you show that you are part of a family?
Looking at this section of Mark, we are going to ask the question who are Christ’s family? Who are the people who really belong to him? Although a lot of people come to Jesus for healing by him, some of his family or people from his hometown think that he is mad and try to stop him. The religious leaders go even further and say that he has done these things in the strength of an evil spirit. These do not behave like members of Jesus’s family.
Jesus answers these by saying it is stupid to think that Satan and his followers fight against each other, because once that happens it is all over for them. When people who live in the same country fight against each other, then that country becomes very weak! No, says Jesus, the only way you can take something from a strong person is if you are stronger than them. This is the way Jesus succeeds in helping so many people, because he is stronger than the evil spirits that hurt them. Unclean spirits are definitely not part of Jesus’ family! Really, Jesus warns people if they say they do these things through the devil, then they are getting mixed up between the Holy Spirit and the unclean spirit. If their thoughts are as dark as this, then what hope do they have of turning to God and receiving forgiveness.
Then something striking happens. Jesus’ nearest relations, his mother and his brothers, come to him in quite a proud way, sending someone to fetch him, expecting him to come to them because they are relatives. But the response of Jesus is to tell them they are not his family! Jesus’ real family, those who truly belong to him, are people who obey God and accept the King he has sent.
How does Jesus show that he is stronger than Satan?
In what way should the knowledge that we are Christ’s family change the way that we behave?
that you will not take your relationship with Jesus for granted, but that your whole life will show that you love him.