REJECTION FROM HIS OWN
When His own people heard of this, they went out to take custody of Him; for they were saying, “He has lost His senses.” Mark 3:21
This verse speaks of Yeshua’s own people. We know that His family is involved for we read in v.31 that His mother and His brothers arrived, and standing outside they sent word to Him and called Him. How did they come to believe that He’d lost His senses?
There was obviously a great amount of pressure coming from the religious leaders, from their established traditions. There was also a great commotion coming from the demonic world influencing the people, this same demonic world which the Lord will describe for us later on in this chapter. His family had walked from Nazareth to Capernaum, some 32 km or 20 miles to come and attempt to save Jesus because they were convinced He’d gone overboard.
Why Did Miriam (Mary) Doubt?
There is another enigma to deal with here. What happened to Mary? Did she forget the revelation she’d received from the angel about Jesus? Perhaps she expected the religious leaders to recognize Jesus as their Messiah. Was she also expecting the sign of deliverance, like the other Jews, not being aware of the mystery He was about to reveal? In many ways Miriam represents the many Israelites who were deceived into thinking that the Messiah would come first to establish His Kingdom, rather than first to suffer and give His life as a ransom for many.
In her Magnificat, her beautiful song of praise found in Luke 2:46-55, she spoke of the coming of the Messiah, but nowhere do we see His suffering, or first coming mentioned. She speaks of God scattering the proud, putting down the mighty from their thrones and exalting the lowly (v.51-52), and recalls the promises made to Abraham which were not yet fulfilled (v.55). That may have influenced her.
Zeal for the Lord Amidst Family Rejection
When we consider all these things, we may wonder how Yeshua felt about it all. The Bible speaks of this in a prophecy found in Psalm 69. The theme of the psalm is that of the reproach, shame, insult, and dishonor which David felt when he, too, was a rejected king of Israel. He was abandoned by his family, friends, and nation just like the Messiah at His first coming. This prophetic Messianic psalm is quoted six times in the New Testament: twice in John, once in Matthew, twice in Romans and once in Acts.
For instance, the prophecy brings us to the tav (the cross) like we see in Psalm 69:21: They also gave me gall for my food And for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink. This is then how it is reported in Matthew 27:34:They gave Him wine to drink mixed with gall;
Psalm 69:8-9 is quoted both in John 2:17 and Romans 15:3. It speaks of the rejection by both the Messiah’s and David’s family. Here we are told how Yeshua felt in the midst of the mayhem and persecution. I have become estranged from my brothers and an alien to my mother’s sons. For zeal for Your house has consumed me, and the reproaches of those who reproach You have fallen on me. It was a prophecy of the rejection of the Messiah.
This prophecy also tells us what motivated Yeshua to go all the way. It is written that for zeal for Your house has consumed Me. It was His great love for Israel and for every man that drove Him to continue until the tav.
The psalm goes a long way to explain the suffering of the Messiah, even in this instance. In v.26, it is as if David turns around and speaks of another who is suffering and says: For they have persecuted him whom You Yourself have smitten, And they tell of the pain of those whom You have wounded. Note the word “wounded”, which is halal and defined as one who is mortally wounded (Artscroll). This was not David, nor was it Israel as some interpreted, but the Messiah Himself, for it is the same word that Isaiah uses in Isaiah 53:5, where the word halal is found.
But He was pierced through for our transgressions. This then was not just a rejection by His family, but by His friends, and by His nation. It was the beginning of the great suffering the Messiah endured so that we may have everlasting life.
Learning from the Inspired Word
Let’s summarize this section of Mark.
We were introduced to Peter who will be the head of the 12 apostles, yet soon he would deny the Lord three times. Mary resurfaces, but she also will turn against Yeshua. Then we are introduced to Judas Iscariot who will follow and literally live with Jesus for three years, yet at the end will betray Him. We see all those religious leaders, the Scribes, the Pharisees, the Herodians, who were given so much proof, so many miracles and especially warnings and truth from the Word of God. They should have been familiar with them, but they all with one voice, will accuse the Messiah of working with the devil.
Clearly, the Word of God is fully inspired! No other history would be so open and sincere about the weaknesses of its people. Whether it is Israel, or Mary, or Peter, the Bible depicts them as they are so we can learn from them and stay close to God. That is the second and the main point.
David wrote in Psalm 146:3: Do not trust in man, in whom there is no salvation. And then He says in v.5: How blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God.
This is the blessing we ought to seek and stay close to. Amidst our mayhem, there is something that Yeshua said that is so comforting which is found in the last verses of chapter 3.
As Jesus’ earthly family came to save Him (at least that is what they thought they were doing) He spoke these words in vv.33-35:
“Who are My mother and My brothers?” Looking about at those who were sitting around Him, He said, “Behold My mother and My brothers! “For whoever does the will of God, he is My brother and sister and mother.”
Here he introduces a new family, a spiritual family made up of those who follow Him, and of them He said; these are My mother, My brothers. This is where we see the doctrine of adoption which says that at the moment one believes in God, he or she becomes a son or daughter of God forever and ever. It is a great title we are given here, to be called the children of God, or sons of God.