Opposition. It’s one of the realities of following Jesus. Sometimes it comes from co-workers and other times from friends. Often times, the greatest source of hostility can come from family. Jesus understood this all too well as many of His earliest critics were family members.
Mark sets the scene in chapter 3: “He (Jesus) came home.” At this point in Jesus’ ministry home was Capernaum, the small town just north of the Sea of Galilee, where Jesus had created quite the buzz thanks to His powerful anointed teaching and undeniable miracles. With few doctors and only very primitive understandings of medicine, people flocked to Jesus to be healed and to witness these miraculous healings. The need was great.
Jesus’ family lived about 2o miles away in Nazareth. As stories of Jesus’ ministry spread, they began to worry. To His brothers, Jesus was a carpenter and their respected eldest brother – nothing more. When Jesus began calling Himself God and forgiving sins, His family wondered what happened to the Jesus they knew growing up. The successful carpenter was now a radical preacher? Had He lost His mind? They just didn’t get it.
Eventually, some of His family would choose to believe Him. James, the leader of the early church and author of one of the New Testament books, was Jesus’ own brother. Can you imagine what it would take to believe that your seemingly ordinary brother was the Son of God? It appears to be Jesus’ resurrection from the dead that caused James to believe (1 Cor. 15: 7-8).
Is your family opposing or mocking your faith in Christ? The good news is: Jesus understands. Jesus gets it because Jesus lived it – all the way to the cross. In the end, Jesus overcame all the critics by rising from the dead! No matter what opposition you are facing for your faith, Jesus understands. You can be sure that He’ll walk with you through whatever comes your way.