Friday, September 9, 2016
Continuing with Jesus and his family… I think it is one of the lesser known facts about Jesus’ life that he and his family had more then their fair share of misunderstanding and confusion. Most family encounters took place in his hometown of Nazareth, a nothing little village inhabited on the whole by Jesus’ wider family, “They rose up, dragged Jesus out of town, and took him to the top of the hill on which their town was built. They meant to throw him over the cliff, but he walked through the middle of the crowd and went his way.” On another trip to Nazareth, after he taught in the synagogue, they said, “Isn't he the carpenter, the son of Mary, and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas, and Simon? Aren't his sisters living here?" And so they rejected him. Again, in Nazareth, “a large crowd gathered that Jesus and his disciples had no time to eat. When his family heard about it, they set out to take charge of him, because people were saying, "He's gone mad!” Still in Nazareth, because Jesus was avoiding the Jewish authorities in Jerusalem who were wanting to kill him, his brothers came to him and had this conversation with him, “The Festival of Shelters is near, "Leave this place and go to Judea, so that your followers will see the things that you are doing. People don't hide what they are doing if they want to be well known. Since you are doing these things, let the whole world know about you! (Not even his brothers believed in him). Jesus replied, “You go on to the festival. I am not going to this festival, because the right time has not come for me." He said this and then stayed on in Galilee. After his brothers had gone to the festival, Jesus also went; however, he did not go openly, but secretly.” The next time we see the family all together, it is at the cross, and they are united, albeit in grief and sorrow. Jesus saw his mother and the disciple he loved standing there; so he said to his mother, "He is your son." Then he said to the disciple, "She is your mother." From that time the disciple took her to live in his home. Lastly, they are all together again, this time in Jerusalem, as recorded in Acts, “They gathered frequently to pray as a group, together with the women and with Mary the mother of Jesus and with his brothers.” The perfect family? By no means! A family called by God, in all their humanness, to be the instruments of God – through their confusion, misunderstandings, pain, sorrow, and suffering? Oh yes, just like our families.