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10th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Ages 3-6): Jesus' Family

Mark 3.20-35 


In the Gospel for this Sunday, Jesus returns home after spending a long time with crowds of people, healing them of sickness.

and the crowd came together again, so that they could not even eat.

The crowd of people like being near to Jesus, they like what he does for them, they like how he makes them feel, but they make it impossible for Jesus and his friends to eat. This cannot be good. Everyone needs to eat.

When his family heard it, they went out to restrain him, for people were saying, “He has gone out of his mind.”

Jesus' family worry about him. Maybe they think he needs to stop healing people so that crowds of people do not follow him. Maybe they think he needs a break. Maybe they think something is wrong with him! We know that they love him.

Then his mother and his brothers came; and standing outside, they sent to him and called him. A crowd was sitting around him; and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers and sisters are outside, asking for you.”

When Jesus' family comes to the home, they cannot get to him because of all the people in the crowd. They have to pass the message to him through the crowd of people. The crowd of people is happy to help get the message to Jesus. They tell him that his family wants to see him.

What does Jesus do with the message? Does he get up and leave the crowd of people? No. Instead he says,

“Who are my mother and my brothers?”

What? Maybe Jesus' family is right to think that something is wrong with him! How can he not know who his family is?

And looking at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers!

Pardon me? Jesus calls the crowd of people his family! But he did not grow up with all of them. What can he mean?

Photo by Yannis H on Unsplash

Jesus looks at the crowd of people all sitting in a circle around him, all those people who want so much to be near him, and he calls them his family. We wonder what the people do when they hear that. Maybe they open their eyes wide in surprise. Maybe they look at each other and wonder. Maybe they begin to smile a great big smile.

Jesus says,

Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.

Huh. Other people can be Jesus' family, too—people who do the will of God. The 'will of God' means 'what God wants.' What does God want?

We remember the moment when Jesus climbs a mountain with his friends, Peter and James and John, and he is transfigured before them and his clothes become dazzling white. Peter and James and John do not know what to think. And then they hear the voice of God say,

“This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!”

This is what God wants! For people to listen to Jesus!

The crowd who sits around Jesus listens to Jesus. They do what God wants. They do the will of God. Jesus says they are his family.

But are the people in the crowd the only ones who listen to Jesus?

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

We sit and listen to him, too. We listen to the Word of God. We listen to it right now! So...

We do what God wants, too! When we listen so carefully to the Word of God, to Jesus, we do the will of God.


We are Jesus' family, too!

Maybe we begin to smile a great big smile, too :)

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