Mark 3:31

His mother and his brothers came, and stood outside, and sent to ask him to come to them.


it takes awhile
for families to affirm
their embarrassing members

we will attempt correction
lapse into ignoring
justify our anger
intervene and exile

family status is powerful enough
to willingly sacrifice one
for the benefit of many

we will diminish and disallow
those who disappoint
all this may take a while
eventually it is the only solution

so we look to community belovedness
built on individual belovedness
to repent and trust belovedness


Having just completed a very contentious scene with power from Jerusalem, it is helpful to go back ten verses and skip over the interrupting story.

Life is never solitary. The very forces that oppose the liberation of captive people have an effect on a whole culture and extended family units connected to anyone upsetting their system. Jesus’ family is under the same pressure as Jesus and any follower of his.

This, like the encounter with the Pharisees from Jerusalem, needs to be seen up-close and personal.

Even though surrounded by select followers and a variety of crowds, Jesus is deeply alone. Family is deep relationship that ties us by blood to our tribal roots. Can you actually see Jesus turning his back on his mother who, with sisters and brothers and cousins by the score, wants to protect Jesus before he is grievously hurt by a seemingly immovable force.

How far do we have to go to commit someone for their own safety and that of others? We officially sign that they are “out of their mind” because they are “out of their place or status”. If only Jesus had gone to Pharisee school instead of to John!

There is ample evidence already given that Jesus is weakening a system of relationships that keeps at least a little stability in a time of wilderness occupation. Some sympathy and identification with the family is in order, for we have all made the same argument to slow-down or work within the system to someone when their call is disrupting some part of our own life. Mark eventually confirms the family has reason to look ahead and worry.

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