The Battle Between Family and Ministry

Jesus with groupMark: According to

Part 20

Mark 3:31-35

The Battle Between Family and Ministry

Mark set up this incident well by his statement in Verse 21 of chapter three that His own people heard about this, they went out to lay hold of Him, for they said, “He is out of His mind.”

And Now in verse 31 it states, “Then His brothers and His mother came, and standing outside they sent to Him, calling Him.”

One of the hardest parts of ministry is when ministry gets in the way of family. What I am trying to say, is that family and the relationships within family are very important. We see this by the fact that God instituted marriage in the Garden of Eden even before He created the Sabbath. Family and the relationship between husband and wife is the most important earthly relationship one will ever have. Within the relationship the husband and wife lend support to each other and by each other they are both made stronger.

Yet with ministry there are often situations that pulls the family in opposite directions. Sometimes because of confidentiality, there are things the pastor knows that cannot be shared with another not even his wife. Sometimes the demands of family are great, and the ministry suffers because of it.

This is a tool of Satan, driving a wedge between the pastor and his family, so that all feel at odds with each other. Jesus was not married, but he certainly had a close relationship with His mother which is seen in John chapter 2 when Jesus’ mother asked him turn the water into wine. Also in the closing moments of Jesus’ life as he hung upon the cross he made provision for his mother by asking John the beloved disciple to care for His mother from that point forward. A privilege that John was happy to do and faithfully did this until Jesus’ mother past away.

But nothing disrupts a ministry quicker than a house divided, and Christ new this and so He responded to the call of his family. His family was genuinely worried about Jesus but even though they were worried, they fell to the temptation of Satan and attempted to disrupt the ministry of Jesus for they to thought perhaps Jesus was a little off.

32 And a multitude was sitting around Him; and they said to Him, Look, Your mother and your brothers are outside seeking You.” 33 But He answered them, saying “who is My mother, or My brothers?”

Jesus knew perfectly well who His mother and brothers were and so perhaps this led credence to the fact, that so many were thinking that Jesus had lost touch with reality. Jesus answered the question of what so many were thinking by saying: 34 And Jesus looked around in a circle at those who sat about Him, and said, “here are My mother and My brothers 35 For whoever does the will of God is my brother and My sister and Mother.”

Strangely what Jesus is saying here is difficult for us all to hear. Jesus is saying that even those who are nearest and dearest to Him had no right to interfere with His work or to direct how it should be carried out. This included not only the twelve disciples but even his own family. But Jesus went a step further, in saying “here are My mother and My brothers, For whoever does the will of God is my brother and My sister and Mother.” Jesus was establishing the fact that He himself is head of the household or as Paul would later state in Ephesians 5:23 and I Corinthians 11:3 that he (Jesus) is head of the church and as such, nothing should get in the way of the gospel message and that he is indeed head to the family of God here on earth.

All that acknowledge God as their Father are therefore members of the Whole family in heaven and earth. The ties that bind Christians to their heavenly Father and to one another are stronger and truer even than blood ties and more enduring. Here is a clear denial that Christians should give special attention to Mary. Jesus points to us and says, when we become actively involved in ministry our most important relationship is our relationship with Christ, and secondary to that is our relationship with our own family. Nothing should separate us from our relationship with God and doing His work on earth, not should anything separate us from the relationship with our own family but even than is secondary to the relationship we should have with Christ.

Therefore, our prayer each day should be “Dear Lord, I pray that I might be a source of strength to my family and of service to you. May you guide and protect my family as I minister for you with them and those you have entrusted to our care. May not my will but your will be done in everything that I do in service for you.” Amen.

But there is great joy when the opportunity arises for my wife and I to share in the ministry together. Fellow laborers and partners together working for Christ in Christian fellowship and love for those around us that we consider our brothers, our sisters in Christ. Christ has invited us all to become members of the family of God and thus we all are brothers and sisters in Christ. May God bless those that engage in service to God to their brothers and sisters in Christ.

Published by The Bible In Your Hand

Hi, I am Pastor Lester Bentley, a devoted husband, father, and Pastor for the Northeastern Wyoming District of the Rocky Mountain Conference of Seventh-day Adventist. I am committed to the great gospel commission as stated in Matthew 28:19, 20.

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