Gospel of Mark, Lent

A family of preachers (Mark 3:31-35)

We have a visitor at our house from Scotland, a member of the board of RevGalBlogPals and a special friend to kathrynzj and me. Our dog, Teddy, fell in love with her immediately, just as we did when we first met her in 2011. Some people just get each other. This is on my mind as I read about Jesus calling the rest of his disciples, the people who will become his true family on earth. His family of origin thinks he has lost his mind, according to Mark, and the authorities are happy to accuse him of being demonic.

Jesus entered a house. A crowd gathered again so that it was impossible for him and his followers even to eat. When his family heard what was happening, they came to take control of him. They were saying, “He’s out of his mind!”  The legal experts came down from Jerusalem. Over and over they charged, “He’s possessed by Beelzebul. He throws out demons with the authority of the ruler of demons.” (Mark 3:20-22, CEB) 

His family tracks him down, hoping to take him home and end the embarrassment of his public ministry. This is a far cry from other gospel accounts, but worth our attention, I think, because so many people who try to follow Jesus’s call on their lives get that same response. What makes you think that’s a good way to spend your life, a worthy cause to support, a righteous purpose that justifies sacrificing what other people expect from you?

 His mother and brothers arrived. They stood outside and sent word to him, calling for him. A crowd was seated around him, and those sent to him said, “Look, your mother, brothers, and sisters are outside looking for you.”

He replied, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?” Looking around at those seated around him in a circle, he said, “Look, here are my mother and my brothers. Whoever does God’s will is my brother, sister, and mother.” (Mark 3:31-35)

In my life, for the past thirteen years, there has been a family of preachers and their pals, friends in ministry and life who may not always agree with me or understand exactly where I’m going but get that I whatever I do is an attempt to be faithful to Jesus, who called me to follow him. I hope you have those people in your life, too.

Thank you, God, for the families of heart that you create in our lives. Amen.


I’m reading and blogging about Mark for Lent. Want to read along? I’m using the Common English Bible because it messes with my expectations of familiar passages. I am also referring to NRSV-based resources including The Jewish Annotated New Testament, the New Interpreter’s Study Bible, as well as the online Greek interlinear Bible. Tomorrow I’ll be reading Mark 4:1-20. You can find the full schedule here, including links to earlier posts.

I would love to know your thoughts.

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