Sermon for Sunday June 6 2021 – guest speaker the Rev. Helen I. Harris – Mark 3:20-35

Have you ever done something that made other people wonder if you have lost it? Sometimes we say or do things and then afterwards we think to ourselves, now why did I do that. In today’s gospel, Jesus has been traveling throughout the region of Galilee. He had been healing the sick, giving sight to the blind, cleansed those with leprosy and cast out demons. He appointed and ordained twelve ordinary men who he had selected as his disciples, empowering them and sent them out preaching in ministry. The numbers and names He ordained were according to the twelve tribes of Israel. They would be with him constantly to be witnesses of His life and attest to the truth of His miracles. 

The disciples and Jesus entered a house but the many crowds demanded his personal attention so much that he and the disciples hardly had time to eat. Jesus was concerned about the spiritual health of the people he dealt with. His immediate earthly family was concerned about his physical and mental health. When his family received word of what was taking place, they went to take charge of him. They thought that He must have been beside himself. They feared his strength would fail him and he must have been exhausted with all the constant ministry. He needed some breathing time for himself.

 When I began the process of my deaconate studies, it involved many evening/weekly bible classes and Saturday bible instruction classes. It included many hours working on my computer typing reports and reading several books. My husband became worried about me doing too much, that I was stretching myself thin. There are times in our lives that we need to just stop what we are doing and rest. Life sometimes gets in our way. We have limits to how much we can take. Sometimes we are expected to do more than we can or want to do. We all have busy schedules, busy lives and when we get overloaded, it’s ok to say no. 

The Scribes traveled from Jerusalem to Capernaum after hearing of the vast following of Jesus. They attempted to label Jesus as a messenger of Satan rather than of God. Jesus turns the tables on the Scribes by stating “no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his property without first tying up the strong man.” After Jesus has a showdown with the Scribes, his family arrived but had to push through the crowd to get to him. They think he’s lost it a little and is an embarrassment to himself and his family. “Jesus regarded his follows as his true family who shared the same new birth, born into the family of God through faith in the God-man, Jesus. To be a member of God’s family is to be a real Christian with the Holy Spirit living inside us. “To follow Christ requires a willingness to leave it all if necessary – even one’s family.

Jesus opens his arms to all people. The people that crowded around Jesus that day; would be honored in the kingdom of God, but not the scribes. Jesus warmly welcomes those who obey the will of the father, no matter what sins they have committed. Young, old, black, white, male, female, sinner and righteous, all are received into the family of Jesus if they are willing to do the will of the father. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John: 1:8-9) 

Jesus makes clear His new position; He was God’s chosen One. He didn’t come for the righteous, but for the sinners. Jesus changes the order of relationships and shows that true kinship is not just a matter of flesh and blood. As Christians we are called to build up not tear down, to love, not to hate. We build on our family relationship with Jesus as He welcomes us in His ministry. We step out in our faith loving all our brothers and sisters in Christ. Amen

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