Rejected By Family?
"Then his brothers and his mother came, and standing outside they sent to him, calling him. And a multitude was sitting around him, and they said to him, 'Look, your mother and your brothers are outside seeking you.” Mark 3:31-32 Jesus makes a clear separation between those who belong to him eternally, versus one's natural family. One day while he was ministering to the multitudes, friends came seeking him and the Scripture says that they thought he was out of his mind (vs 21). This raises a lot of questions. Why did they not believe in him? If one gets into a deeper study on this subject, it can be shown that not only did his brothers not believe in him, but the people of the town he was from considered him illegitimate. Few if any, believed Mary's story about having conceived this Son by the Spirit of God. The religious leaders tried to humiliate him inferring that he was illegitimate saying, "WE were not born of fornication..!” John 8:41 Another passage shows his brothers taunting him, suggesting that he leave and go elsewhere to show off to his disciples the works that he was doing, and the Scripture adds, "For even his brothers did not believe in him" (John 7:3-5). And in a Messianic passage in Psalms, it says, "I have become a stranger to my brothers, and an alien to my mother’s children" (Psalm 69:8). Jesus told his followers that if they hated him, they will hate us too. It shouldn't surprise us, rather it should be proof to us that we belong to Christ. "If the world hates you, you know that it hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, THEREFORE the world hates you. John 15:18-19 Many of us share in the sufferings of Christ as our families and others think we're "out of our minds." But Jesus makes it very clear that we are to actually expect the same kind of treatment that he was treated with. He makes it clear where our loyalties must lie if we are to follow him. If loved ones and others ridicule us, it's actually assurance of our acceptance by Jesus Christ, for his Spirit dwells in us and the world hates it. The spirit in the world hates the Spirit within us. “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life.” Matthew 19:29 He knows the pain of rejection from loved ones, and he promises great reward for those who will not be swayed by it, but who will follow him no matter what the cost. "...rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when his glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy." 1 Peter 4:13 There IS a cost to follow Jesus Christ. Anyone who desires to follow him must be willing to pick up his own cross and follow him. The cross is a method of death. The Cross is what he died on. The cross of Christ was the suffering he went through in order to save us. And anyone who thinks to follow Christ must first know that there will be a cross for us too. "Then Jesus said to his disciples, 'If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, AND TAKE UP HIS CROSS, and follow me." Matthew 16:24 Why would anyone be willing to do that? Those who do, understand that we're only passing through this life. Our lives here are very short when compared to eternity, and for those who can bear it, they will invest their lives for eternal fruit. The older you get the more quickly time seems to go by. It won't be long before each of us stands before Jesus and either hears, "Well done good and faithful servant," OR "depart from me, I never knew you." After salvation, it's the most important choice you will ever make. And it's for all eternity.