Mark 3 Reflection by Lou C
This is the last in this little chunk about Jesus performing miracles and he's really showing us what his message of good news (1v1) is about. Different people have had different reactions to him, but now the Pharisees and Herodians (who would have been natural enemies) are coming together to plot to kill Jesus. I'm always struck by how extreme this reaction is, and that so early on in Jesus ministry that he's stirring things enough for people to want to genuinely kill him. It makes me wonder how radical we are being.
At the end of the chapter Jesus asks the crowd ‘who are my mothers and brothers?’ while his family are right there. This definitely seems uncomfortable but his mindset is totally different- he’s not saying that to hurt his family but to show we are all part of a family in the kingdom. Sometimes I find it hard to live like that, with my mind focussed on the things God tells me are important and not what I see as important.
How much do we step out and do things that upset others and stir up things like Jesus? He doesn’t do it to be a controversial figure like so many we read about in the news now, but because the agenda of the kingdom is so radically different from all our own ideas about how to live. If we're truly following his example, should we be annoying religious leaders and political leaders in what we do and say? The kingdom of God that Jesus is showing us is really radical- he is setting people free and healing so many but this is uncomfortable for others, and I think it should be uncomfortable for us too.
We've seen in the last two chapters that there are crowds and crowds of people following Jesus around, some, probably just because it's a crowd, others for healing, but others who simply want to know more about who this guy is and what’s going on.
In verse 13, Jesus goes up a mountain (a definite pointer to God's presence, think the temple, Abraham on Mt Moriah, Moses up Sinai...) and chooses 12 apostles 'that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons'...what a commission?! I think I would be a bit scared if Jesus had said that to my face, but actually that *is* what he calls us to- join me in being terrified and excited all at the same time!
We're called to walk and talk the good news of the kingdom, to use the authority God gives us to set people free and to kick out the kingdom of the enemy. This reminded me of a sermon Cris did a while ago where he said the strategy of the enemy was division and separation, and unity was the strategy of the kingdom. So Jesus has called together disciples into a community to do things together, based on following him. Sounds familiar....oh yeaa...Eden!!! Let's pray for unity with each other, with Jesus and with church today :)