Jesus, According To Mark - Week 2: "Go Off, King"

It's the Third Sunday of Pentecost, a season that allows us to reflect on what it means that the Spirit of Christ is at work in the Church.  

What kind of power does the Spirit of Christ bring to us?

Our sermon series for June is entitled Jesus, According to Mark.

Mark’s Gospel is similar to rabbinical history/legends with wisdom literature.  

What Do We Do When Jesus Doesn’t Seem To Make Sense?

Jesus said some hard things to decipher sometimes. 

Here’s a sample of some of them…  

"Let the dead bury the dead." (When a guy said, "I'll follow you after I bury my father.")

"Whoever divorces and marries another commits adultery."

"Let him who has no sword buy one." 

"Sell what you have, and follow me." 

The hard saying from today is one of the most difficult because it involves family and religion—we know how that usually goes. 

And here's what we'll focus on after reading this hard saying.  

When we create an image of Jesus that fits all our neat categories, we can be assured we’ve got the wrong Jesus. 


Mark 3:20-35

20 Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. 21 When his family[a] heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.”

Jesus' own family thinks he's lost his mind. 

22 And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebul! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons.”

The religious elites accuse him of being in league with the Accuser. 

Jesus doesn't avoid them---he hits them with a meshalim - "shadowy saying."

23 So Jesus called them over to him and began to speak to them in parables: “How can Satan drive out Satan? 24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. 26 And if Satan opposes himself and is divided, he cannot stand; his end has come. 27 In fact, no one can enter a strong man’s house without first tying him up. Then he can plunder the strong man’s house. 28 Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, 29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.”

30 He said this because they were saying, “He has an impure spirit.”

The “eternal” sin - If you align God’s Spirit with evil, it’s utterly perverse.

Jesus then expands the idea of what constitutes "family" - a new community. 

31 Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. 32 A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, “Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.”

33 “Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked.

34 Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 35 Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”

When you think you have Jesus figured out, placed in a box, and co-opted for your cause, think again.  He defies existing categories and creates new ones all of the time. 

What Does This Story Teach Us?

1. The thing beneath the thing, beneath the thing. 
2. The hard sayings are usually for people who try to contain Jesus
3. We don’t have a corner on the market on grace & Community



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