Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

Lent Devotional March 18, 2014

Scripture

Mark 3:19b-35

19b Then he went home; 20 and the crowd came together again, so that they could not even eat. 21 When his family heard it, they went out to restrain him, for people were saying, "He has gone out of his mind." 22 And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, "He has Beelzebul, and by the ruler of the demons he casts out demons." 23 And he called them to him, and spoke to them in parables, "How can Satan cast out Satan? 24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. 26 And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but his end has come. 27 But no one can enter a strong man's house and plunder his property without first tying up the strong man; then indeed the house can be plundered.

28 "Truly I tell you, people will be forgiven for their sins and whatever blasphemies they utter; 29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit can never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin" - 3 0for they had said, "He has an unclean spirit."

31 Then his mother and his brothers came; and standing outside, they sent to him and called him. 32 A crowd was sitting around him; and they said to him, "Your mother and your brothers and sisters are outside, asking for you." 33 And he replied, "Who are my mother and my brothers?" 34 And looking at those who sat around him, he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers! 35 Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother."

Devotional

“Then he went home.” This phrase comes immediately after the words “Judas Iscariot who betrayed him” and shortly before the words “He has gone out of his mind.” 

Jesus went home.

Jesus had fled to the sea to escape crushing crowds, he had appointed his followers, one of whom would betray him, and he returns home. But when he gets there, people question his sanity, and his own family tries to restrain him.

It’s at this point that Jesus again turns everything upside down. He doesn’t shrink his concept of family or trust; he expands it. After the foreshadowing of Judas’ betrayal, and a betrayal of sorts from his own family, we might expect Jesus to tighten his circle, but instead he does the opposite, opening it to “whoever does the will of God.” Looking around him, he proclaims, “here are my mother and my brothers.”

Message provided by the Miller Summer Youth Institute.