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Family Problems

by | Jun 5, 2024 | Family, Follow Jesus

“Then He [Jesus] went home, and the crowd gathered again, so that they could not even eat. And when His family heard it, they went out to seize Him, for they were saying, ‘He is out of His mind.’ … And His mother and His brothers came, and standing outside they sent to Him and called Him. And a crowd was sitting around Him, and they said to Him, ‘Your mother and Your brothers are outside, seeking You.’ And He answered them, ‘Who are My mother and My brothers?’ And looking about at those who sat around Him, He said, ‘Here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of God, He is My brother and sister and mother.'”

(Mark 3:20-21, 31-35 ESV)

This story caught my eye, and I wondered: what could Jesus have possibly been doing that would make His family think He was out of His mind? I mean, it’s not a bad thing to heal people and cast out demons. And being very popular isn’t terrible, either.

So I went back and read Mark 1 through 3 again. And I can’t be sure of it, but it looks to me like He’s making too much of a stir for their tastes. He’s not just being talked about—He’s coming into conflict with a lot of people, especially various religious leaders, but also politicians. Even people from as far away as Jerusalem are getting involved! And Jesus’ family isn’t happy. So they come to take Him away. Not that they get the chance …

And this was just the beginning of the conflict. Later in Jesus’ ministry, His own brothers urge Him to do something that could get Him killed. “Go to Judea,” they said. “If You do these things, show Yourself to the world!” (see John 7:3-4 ESV). What wonderful brotherly love!

It’s comforting to see that even Jesus had family problems. Maybe especially Jesus, because His problems come directly from doing what God told Him to do—and that can happen to us, too. Not every family is in favor of church going or giving money to the poor. Plenty of people complain when a brother or daughter or parent moves across the country, even if there’s a divine call involved. Sometimes the best we can do is to pray and put up with it. And, of course, to keep loving them.

The Holy Spirit offers us this comfort—that when our families reject us, “The Lord will take me in” (Psalm 27:10b ESV). As Jesus Himself says, “Whoever does the will of God, he is My brother and sister and mother.” We are not alone, even when following Christ means separation from those we love the most. We have the comfort of the One who came into this world to make us His own. He loves us so much that He was willing to suffer and die—and rise again!—so that He might have us forever. His love is our comfort and our strength.

We Pray: Lord Jesus, You understand family problems. Help me with the ones I’m having. Amen.

This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
Originally published in The Lutheran Hour on June 06, 2024
Used by permission from International Lutheran Laymen’s League, all rights

Reflection Questions:
1. Is it possible to do right and still have people mad at you?
2. Can you love someone and be angry at them at the same time?
3. Take a minute to pray silently about a family problem, whether it’s in your own family or in someone else’s.