Some Occasional Realities of Ministry | Mark 3:20–21

20 Then he went home, and the crowd gathered again, so that they could not even eat. 21 And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for they were saying, “He is out of his mind.”

After His time away, Jesus returns to where He had been staying in Capernaum.  However, nothing is as it was.  Whereas the ministry had been smaller and localized, everyone now comes to Him.  Opinions are formed, and we see in these two verses two undesirable, yet true aspects of our Lord’s ministry.

First, it’s hectic.  In v. 20, we see a bit of what Moses must have felt in Exodus 18.  Even with the apostles assisting, they cannot find the time for a meal.  This teaches us that a hectic ministry schedule isn’t always the result of sin or mismanagement.  As Galatians 6:9–10 says, “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. 10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.”

Second, it’s opposed by those near and dear.  In the following verses, we will read of the growing opposition.  The surprise here is that His family opposes Him, and they appear again in v. 31 to pull Him away.  It may be that the scribes have already visited them with their twisted reasoning and threats, or perhaps His family concluded on their own that He’s mentally unstable.  Jesus says, “Truly, I say to you, no prophet is acceptable in his hometown” (Lk 4:24), and that proverb plays itself out here. 

While many a newly converted Christian are blessed with support from parents, siblings, etc., others shouldn’t be surprised to find ridicule and scorn.  Some ministers of the gospel don’t have family in their churches because they come from godless backgrounds.  Even if a family is comprised of supposed believers, sometimes they sinfully refuse to forgive that black sheep washed white.  While such situations bring sorrow, take heart in the new family of God; “For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother” (v. 35).

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