>”Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.” Mark 3:20-21
Have you ever faced persecution from your own family? I know for me, I don’t think about Jesus’ family too often. We hear about his brother James and we of course hear about his mother Mary, but we know very little about his family life. I suppose that is why this verse stood out to me. Jesus waas facing persecution from the religious leaders and even some citizens of the towns he went through. We know about the persecution leading up to the crucifixion, but I don’t believe that I noticed in my 15 years of being a Christ follower that there is a distinct verse that points out the persecution that Jesus was facing from home.
This is encouraging to me! Not because of any of my own trials, rather, for those who are scared to accept Jesus because they will be ridiculed by their friends and family. Jesus knows first hand about that pain, that disdain that must have decanted from them in the presence of the very people he was trying to influence and enlighten.
They just did not understand. They were so focused on what was kosher to the time (excuse the Jewish pun) and could not see past to what God was doing. How often do we allow ourselves to ‘settle’ because of the derision of those who surround us. We allow their contempt toward our calling from God to hinder our obedience. Sadly, some of those people are fellow Christians. Sometimes, we allow religion to take hold and suffocate the Spirit from being able to move throughout our lives and direct our paths to new and greater heights.
—make a note as you read how often Jesus faces persecution throughout the Gospels.
—Go to BibleGateway.com (an on-line bible/resource)and search on the word, ‘persecution’. What do you find?
—What are some of the trials you have faced where you had to choose to go with other people’s expectations or go against them and follow the Holy Spirit?
—Pray today that God will give you the courage to ‘swim upstream’ and follow God, no matter what difficulty those around you may create. Pray for patience to deal with animosity and love to encourage them to chase after the Holy Spirit as well.