Fools for Christ

Jesus came with his disciples into the house.
Again the crowd gathered,
making it impossible for them even to eat.
When his relatives heard of this they set out to seize him,
for they said, “He is out of his mind.”
(Mark 3:20-21)

Scripture Study

3:20 house Might refer to Simon Peter and Andrew’s house, where Jesus had previously stayed.

3:21 his relatives The Greek idiom used here, meaning “the ones from his side,” can refer to anyone who is closely related to a person, whether by blood or voluntary association. for they said Jesus’ family might have wanted to preserve their reputation. The political ramifications of Jesus’ actions and teaching also could have caused His family to attempt to restrain Him, for fear of reprisal from Roman authorities or local Jewish leaders. Alternatively, they might have not have believed that Jesus was the Messiah and so attempted to silence Him to avoid being ostracized from the religious system (believing that it, too, would reject Him). Since Jesus has been at the center of a crowd almost continuously since His first teaching in Capernaum, it is unclear why His family reacts now.

Scripture Reflection

Based on their reaction, it appears that Jesus’ relatives do not see anything in him other than the ordinary young kinsman they have known all their lives. The whole town of Nazareth will later display a similar response. As the Gospel of John notes, “even his brothers did not believe in him” (John 7:5 RSV). The Son of God suffered misunderstanding even from those closest to him: his family and, on a wider scale, his people. So too his followers often experience the pain of misunderstanding or even mockery from family members who do not understand a life of radical commitment to Jesus. In contemporary secular culture, faithfulness to the gospel sometimes entails being willing to appear to the world as “fools for Christ.”

– Mary Healy

May the virtues of faith, hope, and love go with you today – DV.