I’m days away from my deadline. Almost done! (Thank you for your prayers.)
Two new chapters have been written–one I shared last Friday, and I just couldn’t resist sharing this one. It’s a chapter about the human momma heart of Mary. We read her story so far removed from the culture and time and with knowledge of the end of the story that we assume she never doubted or questioned Jesus’ ministry. We paint portraits of Mary with stoic faith. But she was human, ya’ll. Why do we struggle with that?
Her humanity makes me love her all the more and it gives me hope.
Here’s one of her mothering mishaps . . .
The gospel of Mark sets the scene well. This was also at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. Jesus had performed mind blowing, law breaking, and humanly impossible healings. His miracles tested the authority of the Pharisees and His actions dismissed their laws. He casted out demons, cleansed lepers, gave a paralyzed man new legs, and worked on the Sabbath restoring a withered hand and allowing His disciples to pick a few wheat kernels for a snack.
The authorities weren’t pleased. As Jesus continued to grow in popularity and teach with authority and power, the scribes began to whisper among the throngs that Jesus was possessed.[i]
His family thought so too. Read Mark 3:20, 21, 31, 32:
“Then He went home, and the crowd gathered again so that they could not eat. And when His family heard it, they went out to seize Him, for they were saying, “He’s out of His mind.” . . . . And His mother and His brothers came, and standing outside, they sent to Him and called Him. And a crowd was sitting around Him, and they said to Him, “Your mother and brothers are outside, seeking you.”
I’ve always imagined that as Jesus spoke to the crowd, a demanding knock at the door interrupted the moment. The audience began to murmur. Jesus continued His discourse until the knock sounded a second time. Perhaps He gave one of the disciples a nod signaling for him to see who rudely interrupted His teaching. It was obvious they wouldn’t go away without acknowledgment.
But his family wasn’t knocking. They were calling out to Him.
“Jesus! . . . Jesus! . . . We know you’re in there! . . . Jesus! Come out! We want to see you!”
Actually, Mark writes that they wanted to seize Him.
Seize is a strong word and aptly translates the Greek counterpart in the ancient text. The word is kratéō (krä-te’-ō) which literally means “to take a person.”[ii]
With each cry of His name their voices crescendoed.
They thought He had gone mad. Really! That’s what Mark tells us. They came to Jesus fearing the worst. They wanted to rescue Him and to stop this craziness. The scribes were making Him and their family look bad.
Was Mary’s heart pierced when Jesus refused and even denied His family? In response to the heckling people outside making a ruckus (Mary and His brothers), Jesus said words that would break any mother’s heart. Mark continues telling the story in Mark 3: 32-35:
And a crowd was sitting around Him, and they said to Him, “Your mother and your brothers are outside, seeking you.” And looking about at those who sat around Him, He said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.”
Doesn’t every child go through those years when he doesn’t want to be seen with his parents? Don’t all of us remember how as teenagers and young adults we considered our parents outdated and removed from understanding our passions?
And those of us who have teenagers and grown kids know how much that stings. I really hate when my kids believe they are smarter than I am. Unfortunately, sometimes they are.
Surely as Mary of Nazareth stood outside begging for Jesus to come home, Gabriel’s prophecy seemed so far away—so different than what she’d envisioned. When she knelt before God’s messenger humbly accepting her new job as the mother of Messiah she would’ve never thought her son would face such opposition from the righteous Jews.
Was He crazy?
Rather than building an army of soldiers, Jesus gathered a group of skinny fisherman, broke the law, and healed people.
She wanted to protect her baby that day, but another day would come when her momma reach would be too short once more. On that awful day she would helplessly watch Him die.
(excerpt from A Mary Like Me)
What do you do when you know you’re smack dab in the middle of God’s will, but it doesn’t look like what you signed up for?
Does this story help you know that God’s got it?
His plan is more glorious than we can imagine. We’ve just got to roll with it and trust Him. Surely the resurrection gives us hope that there is so much more to our stories than meets the eye.
[tweetability]Something big is happening that we can’t see.[/tweetability]
I love you my friends. See you Friday.
[i] Mark 3: 22-30
[ii] Warren P. Baker, Eugene Carpenter, and Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary (Chattanooga: AMG Publishers, 2003), Strong’s #G2902. E-Sword iPad edition.