Do Not Be Foolish
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)
To be sure, “wounds from a friend can be trusted” (Proverbs 27:6) but it is certainly as true that insults from those in our family can bite bitterly! The “sticks and stones” ditty saying “words will never hurt me” that we are so well grounded in is far from reality. Here our Lord’s family members, His nearest and dearest, those whom should have known Him best, dish out verbiage which had to blister. His family bought into what others had espoused regarding Jesus’ zeal and reasoned He had gone mad. Whether their intent was good or bad, their words still had to sting our Lord. There appears to be quite the disconnect between our Lord’s family and the words they surely knew from Proverbs. At the very least these verses were not reverberating in their ears or different words would have been flowing from their tongues:
A man finds joy in giving an apt reply–and how good is a timely word!
Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
The words of the Prophet Isaiah regarding the suffering Servant come to mind–surely our Lord endured much undeserved insult and hardship while His feet walked this earth:
I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting. Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame. (Isaiah 50:6-7)
As Jesus humbly obeyed his heavenly Father, his actions were misconstrued by others. How painful. We should not be surprised when this happens to us as well and we must be sober in our discernment of others as well. What call has God placed on another’s life that may appear skewed in our eyes? I am reminded of the missionary Amy Carmichael’s words: “It is not at all that we think that ours is the only way of living, but we are sure that it is the way meant for us.”
The crowds in our verses for today continued to flock to Jesus, pressing in on and surrounding our Lord and His disciples so much so that they had had no opportunity to even eat. Yet we discover the Master did not shut the door in their faces nor did He ever turn any petitioner away. Instead, we find Him unhurriedly and graciously bidding them welcome. These crowds presented an opportunity for Jesus to fulfill His mission.
Take It to Heart
“Who will be utterly other-worldly, utterly single-hearted, utterly consumed. Don’t think I am that myself! I fall far short of my own standard. But that is what I want to be, and that is what we must be if we are to stand the strain and conquer.” (Amy Carmichael)
Be very careful, then, how you live–not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. (Ephesians 5:15-17)