September 16, 2020

Serving God First

Mark 3:20-31

When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.”

—  Mark 3:21

Perhaps you have had a time when it felt like no one in the world understood what you were going through or why you were doing something.

That also happened to Jesus, and in this situation his family “went to take charge of him.” They must have thought Jesus was no longer able to live on his own—and they might have been embarrassed by him and for him. They wanted to take him home, perhaps to keep him protected and away from the public eye.

Mark tells us that when Jesus’ family arrived at the place where he was teaching, they couldn’t get into the house, so they sent a message inside to say they were looking for him. And Jesus’ response was probably confusing, at least at first: “Who are my mother and brothers? . . . Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”

I try to imagine Jesus’ mother, Mary, processing this event. Before Jesus was born, an angel had said that this child would be the Savior, the Son of God (Luke 1:31-35). Her heart must have been wrenched! Here again we see the kind of living that Jesus calls us to. He is focused on the will of God the Father. His family doesn’t understand, so they think he is out of his mind. In fact, they are the confused ones; they have replaced the Father’s will with their own wills. But like Jesus, we are called to serve God first, even when others think we are out of our minds.

Lord, help us to know your will for our lives, and grant us the courage to live for you. Amen.

About the author — Syd Hielema

Syd Hielema serves the Christian Reformed Church in North America as director of a ministry project called Connections II. He has also served with Faith Formation Ministries, as a professor of theology and youth ministry at Dordt University in Sioux Center, Iowa, and as a chaplain and professor at Redeemer University in Ancaster, Ontario. Syd has been married to Evelyn for 43 years, and they enjoy bird watching near their home in Ancaster.

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