The Lonely Path

Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered,
so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat.
Mark 3:20 (NIV)

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When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.”

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.
Mark 3:21-22 (NIV)

As we look at Mark 3:20-22 we see two very negative reactions to our Lord. One by His family and the other by the religious leaders of the time. His family think He is insane and the religious leaders judge His power to come from Satan.

It must have been a very sad time for Jesus when He had two very unpleasant reactions to His ministry.

However you read it, the matter is clear that our Lord’s family do not believe His message in this present situation. The path can be lonely when those who have been closest to you for decades—and from whom you have drawn all the necessities of life—suddenly reject your life calling.

How many young adults have been full of zeal for the Lord and have had visions of going to a foreign country to witness and evangelize the needy? Then, suddenly, they have their family seek to block their efforts to follow the call of God. Can anything be more painful than to see your own family divided about your Christian ministry?

Then there is the misunderstanding of the religious authorities. What is to be done when your church family tell you to forget your call to the ministry?

I acknowledge that some individuals need to heed their family or church leaders who would block an effort to serve in a ministry they are not gifted to perform. There is wisdom in seeking the approval of both family and church leaders regarding vocation.

All I am saying is that sometimes highly gifted people have been put down and refused the opportunity to serve because of misunderstandings that might have been cleared up if only a serious effort was made on the part of both sides to hear and respond to the concerns of the other party.

You might be in a position like Jesus in our text. If your church leaders reject what you truly believe is a call to service, then consult with other Christian leaders who know you and can confirm what your church leaders say or give you another opinion on the matter.

Remember that Paul and Barnabas quarreled about the worth of John Mark to serve Christ’s church (Acts 15). Paul’s admission of his error is seen in 2 Timothy 4:11 as years later Paul called for John Mark to come and minister to him as he faces death, the very man he refused to minister with in life.

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