When Christian became troubled about his soul and started reading the Bible, his family thought it was some passing mood. They tried to help him get through it as quickly as possible by making his life miserable. But Christian found what he was looking for when he read that there was forgiveness through Jesus' death and resurrection for those who would believe in Him. If Christian hoped that revealing his new found life would resolve the tension with his family, he was sorely disappointed. In fact, things only got worse. His wife and children began accusing him of having gone crazy. And what was worse, they did it right in front of him. They treated him with disgust and let him know that they would keep up this treatment until he put his ideas about Jesus away. They, too, were disappointed with the results of their efforts. Their ridicule only drove Christian to seek even more fellowship with the Lord. And, even though he knew what reception would await his return from church, he couldn't help going. When Christian read that Jesus' family had rejected the Lord Himself, he wept - understanding the pain Christ must have endured. But then he read that Christ makes those who trust in Him His brothers and sisters, and he let out a cry of joy. There was a family for him, then - the family of God. That was why church felt like home and other believers felt like family - they were. Christian would continue to love his earthly family, praying that each of them would join him in God's family. Knowing that Jesus went through the same thing he did made it so much easier to bear. And he never stopped wondering at the fact that he was part of the eternal family of God. Study Mark 3:20-21 and 31-35 to learn about Jesus' troubles with His earthly family and hear Him call Christians His family.
Ask God to show you wonderful things from His Word and to give you strength to believe and obey what He shows you.
Read Focus Verses
Read Mark 3:20-21 and think about what it would be like if you were the subject of these verses.
Read Focus Verses 2
In between this resolution on the part of Christ's family and their action, something else takes place which we'll study next time. For now read Mark 3:31-35 which tells us about what happens.
To understand these verses and what is going on, Read Mark 3:1-19.
What has just been happening? What about the events and details in the previous verses helps us understand why Jesus' friends and family thought He was crazy.
Ganging up on Him
Reading the in-between verses shows us that His family members weren't the only ones opposing Jesus. Read Mark 3:22-30. (The Scribes were Jewish religious leaders.)
Keywords - Jesus Christ
If you've been following along in our study of Mark, you've been marking all the words that refer to Jesus so we can always see Him as the center of everything going on. Let's do that again today.
Mark all the words referring to Jesus in Mark 3:20-21 and 31-35.
Keyword - Family
Let's also mark the family terms.
Mark the family terms in today's passage.
What does verse 20 say about the crowd?
Verse 20 doesn't tell us how many people were in the crowd, but it gives us an indication of how big the crowd was. What does the verse tell us about how the crowd impacted Jesus and His disciples' lives?
What did Jesus' friends and family conclude about Jesus when they heard about what He was doing and His compassionate response to these enormous (and inconvenient) crowds?
What action did Jesus' family decide to take based on their conclusion that Jesus was going crazy?
In verse 31, who came to get Jesus?
What did they do once they arrived where He was according to the end of verse 31?
Verse 32 paints a word picture so we can kind of imagine what it looked like. If Jesus' family could have gotten in, what would they have seen in the room where Jesus was?
What message did they send to Jesus?
What was Jesus' response in verse 33?
How does Jesus explain His answer in verses 34-35?
Who does Jesus say is His family?
In Your Words
It's a relatively short story, but it is very significant. How would you retell it in your own words?
The first thing mentioned in today's passage is the crowd with the significant word again. In the study plan for Mark 3:7-12 called, "Jesus' Love and Compassion," we looked more into Jesus' relationship with the crowds. Read Mark 3:9 where the disciples had to prepare an escape plan in case the crowd became too big for safety.
In the Middle
Think for a minute about what it would be like to always be surrounded by a massive, surging crowd - not like a modern celebrity who makes protected appearances, but like Jesus who was in the middle of the crowd - jostled, endangered, unable to eat. How does this impact your view of the Lord Jesus in His time on earth?
A few chapters later in Mark 6:31 we see the crowds so big again that Jesus and the disciples couldn't eat.
In John 4:31-38 we get to hear Jesus explain His thoughts on the times when work kept Him from eating. This moment comes between Jesus' conversation with the woman at the well and the time when the whole city came to see Him.
More Than Food
What did Jesus value and find satisfaction in more than food?
What does Jesus explain to His disciples about why this work of spreading the gospel was so important that sometimes even things like eating had to wait?
We read about Jesus' mother in Luke 1:26-36.
How does God describe Mary?
We read of Jesus' siblings in Mark 6:1-4.
What were the names of Jesus' brothers?
While we don't have the names of His sisters, He had at least how many?
In today's passage, Jesus' brothers might seem to be overly concerned (as Mary probably was) if we don’t keep in mind the information found in John 7:5.
What does John 7:5 tell us about Jesus' brothers?
How does knowing that Jesus' brothers rejected the truth about Him help us understand Jesus' response to their summons?
Not the Last Word
Thankfully that isn't the last thing we know about Jesus' brothers. Read Acts 1:12-14 which tells us what happened right after Jesus ascended back into heaven.
James, the Lord's Brother
In Galatians 1:18-19 we find that one of Jesus' brothers was a leader in the early church.
Have you ever read a story that has an epilogue telling what happens afterward? If you had written a short story about Jesus' brothers during the period recorded in the Gospels, what would the epilogue, drawing from Acts and Galatians, say?
Concerned to the Last
John 19:25-27 shows that today's passage doesn't mean that Jesus thinks family is unimportant.
Worse than an Infidel
1 Timothy 5:8 instructs Christians to follow Christ's example of caring for family. (Read the context for greater impact if you have time.)
Family is Important
How do these verses help us understand how important family is to God even though sometimes obedience in another area has to come first?
Like Master, Like Servant
Consider what Luke 6:40 says about what those who follow Christ can expect.
If They Called Him Crazy…
So, if people thought Jesus Himself was crazy, what can Christians expect to be accused of sometimes based on what Luke 6:40 says?
For Christ's Sake
That's exactly what we find in Festus' reply to Paul preaching the gospel in Acts 26:24-25.
In 2 Corinthians 5:13-15 we see Paul responding to the accusations of false teachers who were going around telling the churches that Paul was crazy.
1 Corinthians 2:4-16 explains why the world sometimes thinks Christ and His people are crazy.
The Natural Man
Who cannot fully understand the truth God reveals in His Word according to 1 Corinthians 2:14?
The Spirit of God
Who helps Christians understand the truth God reveals in His Word according to this passage?
How does this help explain why the world sometimes thinks Christ and His people are crazy?
So, how should this truth help Christians respond to unfounded accusations about their intelligence and sensibility (or lack of it)?
Jesus' brothers weren't the first brothers in history to be used by Satan to try to stop God's man from doing what was right. In 1 Samuel 17:23-30 we're in the middle of the famous story of David and Goliath. Notice David's older brother's accusation.
I'm Busy with God's Work
Nehemiah faced a similar situation, though not from his brothers. Consider his response in Nehemiah 6:1-4.
Obeying God First
Acts 4:18-20 tells us how Peter and John responded when the leaders tried to stop them from doing God's work.
How did Jesus, David, Nehemiah, Peter, and John reply when people tried to stop them from doing the work God had for them to do?
Family or Christ
Luke 14:25-35 tells us what Christ says a person must do if they have to choose between their family and doing God's will.
Matthew 10:37-39 words it differently but says the same thing.
If a person has to choose between their family and obeying God, what does Jesus tell them to pick?
In light of this difficult choice many people face between following Christ or keeping their family, read what Hebrews 4:14-16 says.
How does today's passage showing that Jesus understands what it is like to choose between God and family help those who have to make a similar choice?
Mark 10:29-31 shows us that the right choice brings blessing even though it is so painful.
What blessing does God offer to those who will forsake things that are dear to them to follow Christ?
What will come with those blessings in this life?
What is promised in the world to come?
What does it teach us about how family relationships should usually be that God uses them as a picture for how Christians should relate to each other?
We get the first hint about where this new family Jesus promises comes from in Ephesians 1:3-6.
Whose family is it?
Romans 8:14-17 tells us more.
The Spirit of God
Which kind of people are children of God according to these verses?
Who are God's adopted children joint heirs with?
Galatians 3:26 explains how a person becomes a child of God.
Faith in Jesus Christ
What makes a person a child of God?
Believing in Jesus
This page explains what it means to believe in Jesus Christ with saving faith - the kind of believing that means you are forgiven, adopted, loved, and promised eternal life. As you read this short, but important article, consider whether you have ever truly believed - not just believing the facts about Jesus, but believing in Him alone to save you.Click To Visit Website
So, in light of the Bible verses you've looked at in this study and seen in that article, how would you answer someone who asked you, "What does it mean to believe in Jesus Christ?"
Hebrews 2:9-18 is a beautiful passage - notice what it says about Christ and those He claims as brothers and sisters.
Not Ashamed of Them
What amazing truth does Hebrews 2:11 say about Jesus' relationship with Christians - His adopted brothers and sisters?
Why, according to Hebrews 2:11, is He not ashamed to call Christians His siblings?
Made Human Like Us
What beautiful truth about Jesus' nature does Hebrews 2:17-18 explain?
What reasons does Hebrews 2:17-18 give for Jesus willingly becoming a person? What did it accomplish for us?
Children of God
1 John 3:1-3 ties together so many of the elements of being God's children we have already seen and then says how it should impact our lives.
Walk in Love
Ephesians 5:1-2 builds on this (if you have an extra minute, Ephesians 5-6 expands on what these two verses mean).
Living Like Children
According to these verses, how should God's children live while they are here on earth?
According to these verses, what do God's children have to look forward to when their time on earth is done?
Finding God's Will
In today's passage, Jesus says that those who do God's will are His brothers and sisters. Romans 12:1-2 tells us how we find God's will.
First Things First
1 John 3:23 tells us where to start.
1 Thessalonians 4:3-7 tells us more about God's will for every Christian.
In the next chapter, 1 Thessalonians 5:18 we learn more about God's will.
A Good Testimony
1 Peter 2:11-18 tells us more.
What are some things that God tells you are His will for you from these verses?
Not God's Will
We learn three types of things that aren't God's will in 1 John 2:15-17.
What are some kinds of things that you know aren't God's will for you?
We saw that we can find how to follow God's will in the Bible. James 1:5-8 gives us further instruction for finding this wisdom along with a promise and a warning.
How does God instruct us to get wisdom?
What promise does God make to those who ask Him for wisdom?
What warning does God give to those who seek wisdom?
Read today's passage, Mark 3:20-21 and 31-35, again in light of what you've seen in God's Word.
What are some of the things this passage teaches us about family?
Have you joined God's family by repenting of your sins and believing in Jesus Christ to save you? If not, won't you today? If you have, what is one way you need to change to live like a child of God today?
Have you committed to following God no matter what it costs you? If you have to choose between God and family for whatever reason, what will you choose?
Are you holding back someone in your family from obeying God because they're afraid of your response? How can you fix that today?
We hope that this study plan has helped you understand that Jesus, too, went through family problems because He followed God and calls those who do God's will His new family, and that this has challenged you to make sure you're part of His family and to love other Christians like brothers and sisters.
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