Highlighting Mark: Out of His Mind



Mark 3:20-35

Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. 21 When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.” 22 And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebul! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons.” 23 So Jesus called them over to him and began to speak to them in parables: “How can Satan drive out Satan? 24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. 26 And if Satan opposes himself and is divided, he cannot stand; his end has come. 27 In fact, no one can enter a strong man’s house without first tying him up. Then he can plunder the strong man’s house. 28 Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, 29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.” 30 He said this because they were saying, “He has an impure spirit.” 31 Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. 32 A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, “Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.” 33 “Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked. 34 Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 35 Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.” (NIV)

Okay, the second highlight first!  Who has an unclean/impure spirit?

Put yourself in the shoes of the Teachers of the Law.  These are men who prided themselves because they had given their minds over to understanding the transitions, laws, and customs of their people.  Keep in mind, that they were also judging the good works of Jesus.  The Law is a good measure to judge by, but it is given to serve us because no one is righteous by adhering to the Law. It is better to judge ourselves by the Law (evaluating our own hearts) rather than others.  This is true especially when it is good deeds that are being evaluated.

Here were men that were Teachers of the Law that found no law broken by Jesus and understood power was working through Him (see John 3:2).  Yet, in spite of this, they judged Jesus in their own hearts.  This divided their standing before God calling the good work of the Holy Spirit evil. They in turn, as Jesus in this passage teaches, divide themselves from the work of the growing light of God’s Kingdom.  Jesus states there is a risk of damnation to such hard-hearted pride.

It is through the humble heart that God rises up in His kingdom.  Proud self-sustaining attitudes bring divisions.  It is best to evaluate good works through our attitude in light of them without the assumption we are in the right.

Remember we are more forgiven than we are righteous.

Righteous is something we can become through forgiveness 

God made Him who had no sin to be sin so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5: 21 NIV).

Now to the first highlight: Out of His mind.

Just what was Jesus up to that it was said He was out of his mind?  We need to note that it was His family by blood (Mary and brothers) who came to reason with Him and stop His activities.  At the minimum, they wanted to slow Him down.

What was their concern? 

Was He an embarrassment to the family? 

Had someone asked them to intervene? 

Was He not behaving like the Jesus they knew?   

What Jesus was doing He alluded to in verse 35… the will of God.  It is no small task to do the will of God.  God’s path for Jesus was not as expected.  That is why He looked to the crowd around Him at that time and questioned… “Who are my mother and brothers?”  This is a strange question to be sure, but Jesus took the time to teach that those that do the will of God are all part of His family.

Who are the people that Jesus considers family?  Those who do the will of God.

Romans 8:16-18, “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.  17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs– heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.  18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” (NIV)

Ephesians 1:4-6, “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love  5 he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will–  6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.” (NIV)

1 John 3:10 “This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother.” (NIV)


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