Labels#4. “Crazy!”

Jesus’ life had become unhinged as far as his family was concerned. It was time for an “intervention.” They had concluded that the pressures of ministry—relentless crowds and being unable to find time to eat—had pushed him over the edge. Their prognosis? “He is out of his mind” (Mark 3:21).

You can only imagine the hand wringing as Jesus’ family tried to decide what to do with their temporarily insane brother. Having obviously achieved consensus, and having left to collect Jesus, they were met by a wall of people.

But their presence is acknowledged, and someone in the crowd announced, “Your mother and your brothers are outside looking for you” (Mark 3:32).

We must remember that Jesus had an advantage over his mother that the rest of us can only dream of—he knew what she was thinking. However, even though she was concerned about the mental and physical well-being of her firstborn, Jesus was not about to ally her fears.

Instead, Jesus seized upon the opportunity to include his mother and his brothers in his sermon as object lessons. He asked the crowd, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” (Mark 3:33).

This question could hardly have calmed the troubled souls of his kin. And they, having concluded that Jesus was consistently behaving in an irrational manner, would already have replaced any residual pity with resolve.

How much of this determination to “save Jesus from himself” was motivated by his embarrassed and unbelieving brothers, we will never know. But what we do know is that, at best, they saw their brother as being motivated only by popularity with the masses (John 7).

Jesus did not care what anyone thought about his state of mind. In a write-this-down moment, Jesus pointed to those sitting closest to him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother” (Mark 3:34-35).

Nothing has changed!

John Staiger (


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