Mark – The Facts.
Randy and I grew up in Midwest City, Oklahoma. We were mere minutes from my mom and dad. His parents retired and moved about three hours away. Family was all around us. Randy had been pastoring the church we grew up in for about nine years, when God asked us to move…not just across town…but about a thousand miles north to Ohio. When God calls, we were taught by both sets of parents, to obey. We did.
However, my mom and dad were pretty upset. At one point, my mom, a devout Christian and laborer for the Lord, said, “Well, God didn’t tell me you could go. We thought you would be here for us forever.” Yikes, that stung and was hard to deal with while we made preparations to make this move. Although mom and dad’s fearful, anxious attitudes were challenging, it would have been more challenging and extremely difficult to say no to God! You don’t say no to God and live the abundant life moving forward with God.
As I read the few words of Mark this morning, I am reminded of our life changing move to Ohio because God had a new purpose for both of us. I am also reminded of a past story of Jesus when he was “lost” by the family to be “found” in the temple. He said to His mom then, “”But why did you need to search?” “Didn’t you know that I must be in my Father’s house?” (Luke 2:49, NLT) Young’s Literal Translation says, “And he said unto them, ‘Why is it that ye were seeking me? did ye not know that in the things of my Father it behoveth me to be?’ In other words, Jesus is saying, I must be where my Father is, doing what my Father as asked me to do. What an example for us to follow as well! No matter what. “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way, to be happy in Jesus” as the song goes around in my head.
Following Jesus is not a matter of convenience and security. We will be challenged, put down, and told we are crazy at times. The evil one will fill your loved ones minds with desperate thoughts that will spill from their mouths to hold you back from “being about the Father’s business” that He has called you to be and do. Gently and lovingly stand firm. There IS no other way. Trust and obey. God will take care of those who are precious to you as you obey what is precious to Him. He did for us. Mom and Dad came around later. They knew they had taught us to obey.
Mark 3, The Message
Jesus’ Mother and Brothers
31-32 Just then his mother and brothers showed up. Standing outside, they relayed a message that they wanted a word with him. He was surrounded by the crowd when he was given the message, “Your mother and brothers and sisters are outside looking for you.”
33-35 Jesus responded, “Who do you think are my mother and brothers?” Looking around, taking in everyone seated around him, he said, “Right here, right in front of you—my mother and my brothers. Obedience is thicker than blood. The person who obeys God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”
Think about it…
–Jesus’ mom and brothers, concerned about the crowds pushing in on him at all sides, wanted to pull Him away. Did they miss Him? Or did they selfishly want something else from Him?
–Did Jesus popularity scare them? Did His bold teaching and wisdom (since a child in the temple long ago) challenge them?
–Was Jesus reprimanding his family? Or loving reminding them Who He was and what God had sent Him to be and do?
–Jesus, once again, turned this situation into a teachable moment for the crowd. What do we learn from it today?
Dear Heavenly Father,
You call. You provide words and actions to help us fulfill your call, even when it hurts those we leave. You provide for our families as we trust, follow and obey your call. Thank you for helping us all these past years. We trust You alone for all our needs as you call us to the next invitation to “be about Your work.” Thank you, Lord. Lead and guide us. Give us wisdom, insight and understanding. We’re listening…
In Jesus Name, Amen