Just a few days ago I finished the book of Matthew. I had been going through a chapter at a time, going slowly and really trying to understand and dive in to what Jesus taught and the enormity of his sacrifice for us. If you have never gone slowly through a book of the Bible before, I would encourage you to do that! Super rewarding!
Now I begin the book of Mark. I took a class on Mark a few semesters back so I am excited to dive in and see what Mark has to say about Jesus' ministry. Already I can see writing styles that are different and how Matthew and Mark choose to focus on different aspects of Jesus' life.
As I read chapter 3 today one section really stuck out to me. In verse 21 it says, "And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for they were saying, 'He is out of his mind.'" It is amazing to me that Jesus' own family thought he was crazy and did not believe that he was the Son of God. John 7:5 says, "For not even his brothers believed in him." Jesus' family, who he had grown up with for 30 years had not seen the truth that Jesus was in fact the Son of God. Maybe because Jesus was their brother, he had grown up with them; maybe it was out of jealousy; whatever the reason, his family chose to believe he was out of his mind instead of realizing the truth of his identity.
Even though it is sad that Jesus' family thought he was crazy there is a redeeming aspect of it. James, Jesus' brother wrote one of the books we have in our Bible. The book of James was written by James, the brother of Jesus. And I love the starting verse in chapter 1 of James, "James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ." Even though James had grown up with Jesus, had rejected Jesus' statements about himself, he came to understand and realize Jesus was the Son of God. That is pretty cool!
How does that apply to my life today? Maybe there are people in my own life that are like Jesus' family: they think Jesus was crazy or even that I am crazy for believing in Him. But just like James, maybe they just need time to realize that Jesus is our Lord and Savior. God has definitely been teaching me lately that faith sometimes just doesn't happen overnight and it takes people time to come to a knowledge of the identity and sacrifice of Jesus. We can only keep praying that our friends and family who don't follow Jesus will have happen what happened to James, the brother of Jesus, when he chose to confess that Jesus was our Lord!