Then Jesus went home; and the crowd came together again, so that they could not even eat. When his family heard it, they went out to restrain him, for people were saying, "He has gone out of his mind." And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, "He has Beelzebul, and by the ruler of the demons he casts out demons." And he called them to him, and spoke 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 his end has come. 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.
"Truly I tell you, people will be forgiven for their sins and whatever blasphemies they utter; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit can never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin"—for they had said, "He has an unclean spirit." Then his mother and his brothers came; and standing outside, they sent to him and called him. A crowd was sitting around him; and they said to him, "Your mother and your brothers and sisters are outside, asking for you." And he replied, "Who are my mother and my brothers?" And looking at those who sat around him, he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother." Mark 3:19b-35
Families come in all shapes and sizes, and they come with all sorts of challenges and problems. I come from a family of five children, all talented and challenging in their own ways. We are very different from one another and yet a family forged by blood, faith and loss. There are also other families that I am part of, a network of friends who I consider my family and my family of faith which extends around the world. To say these families are also talented and challenged is also an understatement. We need one another in our brokenness as well as in our strengths.
Jesus was being protected by his family,from the overwhelming press of the crowd, and he takes this moment to seemingly reject them. This story used to bother me a great deal, until I realized that he was not rejected his family but rather changing our understanding of who were are. We are all related in God, we are brothers and sisters in faith, and as important and necessary as those who are our relatives by blood. We belong to God's family.
Today I ask God to help me really see my brothers and sisters today. May our differences not divide us but rather draw us closer together under God's broad and loving tent. May we lean into one another, as the family of God, and go together to serve this hurting world.