20 Then Jesus went home, but again a crowd gathered. There were so many people that Jesus and his followers could not eat. 21 When his family heard this, they went to get him because they thought he was out of his mind. 22 But the teachers of the law from Jerusalem were saying, “Beelzebul is living inside him! He uses power from the ruler of demons to force demons out of people.” ~ Mark 3:20-22
Today, we return to our study of the life of the Lord Jesus Christ through the eyes of Mark and Peter. From a historical point of view, Mark's account is the oldest of the Gospels, and, it was a main source for the writings of Matthew and Luke. And, through our study of it, we will learn to see the heart of our Savior. And, as we see His massive heart for us, we will become more and more willing to be defined by Him, and, we will learn to see all things through His eyes.
When we became believers in Christ, we entered into His discipleship program. Discipleship takes us from being focused on ourselves to being focused, to some degree, on others. This is the point of our sanctification which incorporates the process of discipleship. It is our justification before God through Christ alone that gets us into heaven, and, it is our sanctification that gets heaven into us now. Our justification is about our salvation, and, our sanctification, for the most part, is about the salvation of others.
In v.20 of today's passage we read, "Then Jesus went home, but again a crowd gathered. There were so many people that Jesus and his followers could not eat."
Many people clamored to be near the Lord Jesus who was so involved in ministry that He did not eat. This is the way of God, and, it includes humility and selflessness. The presence of these characteristics in our ministry is a sure sign that we are doing ministry the way the Lord desires.
As the result of trusting the Lord Jesus as our Savior, God lives inside of us. His expression in, to, and, through our lives is determined by our willingness to depend upon Him and to let Him express Himself. And, to the degree that we yield ourselves to Him determines how much of Him we will experience for ourselves. Once this happens, we are positioned for Him to express Himself through us. And, once we have experienced this, we will want more of Him and His expression through us.
To yield to God is simply to allow God to define us. And, we do this best by bending our wills to His definition of things. Before we met the Lord, we were in the practice of yielding ourselves to our understanding of the way things should be. The Bible calls this sin. And, sometimes when we bend our wills to God's will, we will forgo even eating for the sake of the salvation of others.
In v.21 of today's passage we read, "When his family heard this, they went to get him because they thought he was out of his mind."
The half brothers and sisters of the Lord Jesus were not "born again," therefore, they lacked the ability to appreciate and understand His ministry. This explains why they thought "he was out of his mind." They failed to understand His real nature and His real calling. They thought that His decisions were absurd and they were afraid of what would happen to Him. This is what the flesh (evil desires of this world that are yet in us) does to us: it motivates us by an unwholesome fear and it clouds our ability to think logically with reference to the most important things in this life.
When the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ defines us, others will think that we are out of our minds. The Lord Jesus always lived to be defined by His Father, and, this is what happens in our lives when we are going through His discipleship program. Through this process, we experience the "exchanged life" which is eternal life. And, this eternal life yields "the substance of things hoped for." It is not less than sight, it is more than sight. It is our hearts ability to see and relate to God. Christ dwelling in our hearts is the key.
In v.22 of today's passage we read, "But the teachers of the law from Jerusalem were saying, “Beelzebul is living inside him! He uses power from the ruler of demons to force demons out of people."
Those who should have understood the ministry of the Lord Jesus concluded something quite illogical. "Beelzebul is living inside Him." Beelzebul is a reference to Satan as king of the underworld. Yet again, the religious leaders' ill-informed theology threw them under the bus. They failed to see the real identity of the Lord Jesus, even though His miracles and message could not be more clear. This is the nature of deception, for it is guided by the rejection of a proper understanding of God.
God, through our acceptance of His Son as our Savior, cherishes us as His children. His acceptance of us is equal to His acceptance of His Son, the Lord Jesus. When we have believed in His Son, He sees us through the lens of His Son. As a result, we are wise to be defined by Him daily. When His value system becomes ours, it will alter our thinking and our choices. And, as a result, we will see anew through His eyes. Our thinking and our choices will be informed by the selflessness of God rather than the selfishness of this world.
At the end of the movie, Bruce Almighty, there is a great scene where Bruce, played by Jim Carey, is awakened while laying in a bed in the hospital. He had been run over by a truck and lived. God, played by Morgan Freeman, asks Bruce, "What do you want?" To which Bruce answers, "Grace" which was the name of his former girlfriend. Then Bruce goes on to say, "I want her to meet someone who sees her the way I do now ... through your eyes." This captures what ministry is all about. Seeing others through the eyes of the One who gave His only begotten Son to be the Savior of all who are willing of heart.