Seek First the Kingdom of God

“When his family heard it, they went out to restrain him, for people were saying, ‘He has gone out of his mind.’”  (Mark 3:21)

The folks who watched Jesus grow up, including even His own family, began to worry that Jesus was “off,” for it appeared like He had “gone out of his mind.” Initially, everyone may have felt proud of what Jesus was saying and doing, but as His deeds continued to accumulate and as His words grew in authority, people became concerned about His sanity.

Jesus’ family decided to bring Him home. When Jesus was informed that His mother, brothers, and sisters had come to fetch Him, was He excited to see them? Hardly.

Instead, He said, “Who are my mothers and my brothers?’ And looking at those who sat around him, he said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother” (3:31-35).

Jesus’s family never made it inside. He didn’t even go out to greet them. He certainly didn’t return home with them.

When His family heard how Jesus had redefined what it meant to be part of His family—it’s not those who share his blood, but those who share His commitment—I wonder how they felt. If they were worried about Jesus before, they must then have become convinced He had lost it.

If we live by the world’s standards, Jesus is off. If we live to get and make more, live for power and control, and live totally and completely for our own needs and desires, Jesus is certainly off.

But maybe Jesus isn’t the one who’s off. Maybe any other way besides the “Jesus Way” is off. Maybe God designed us to love, forgive, and care like Jesus. Maybe His seeming instability is the true security. Maybe His craziness is the real sanity.
Love your enemy? Give away your stuff? Turn the other cheek? Be a peacemaker? Seek first the Kingdom of God? What do we think? Was Jesus crazy or sane?

I encourage us to decide. What’s sanity? What’s craziness? I’d submit that being off with Jesus is the only way to find sanity and peace. It doesn’t appear like the world’s ways are making people particularly sane or happy.

Reflection Questions:

  1. Are there any ways that you are “on” with the world but “off” with Jesus?
  1. Are there any ways that you are “off” with the world but “on” with Jesus?
  1. Jesus said that those who do the will of God are part of His family. How are you living into God’s will so that you can be part of Jesus’s family?

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