Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Part XI: Being Sure When Reputable Ties Counter What We Believe
(Mark 3:21, 31-35)
  1. Introduction
    1. It is easy to be sure what is God's will when all around us support the direction we think to be that will.
    2. However, how do we think clearly in times when even reputable ties feel we are absolutely wrong in the direction we believe God is leading us? How can we be sure that God wants us going in that direction?!
    3. Jesus faced and handled this problem to exemplify for us how we can keep our bearings in such situations:
  2. Being Sure When Reputable Ties Counter What We Believe Is God's Will For Us, Mark 3:21, 31-35.
    1. Jesus was raised in a home of godly parents who produced a reputable family support group.
      1. His earthly father, Joseph displayed great personal righteousness, Mtt. 1:18-25 with 2:1-23:
        1. After the Holy Spirit caused Mary to conceive Jesus before she was married, Joseph was minded to divorce Mary privately but considerately due to his uprightness, Mtt. 1:18-19.
        2. When he discovered that she was with child by God, Joseph shielded her by quickly marrying her and abstaining from intimate relations with her until she had given birth to Jesus, Mtt. 1:20-23.
      2. At Christ's conception and birth, His mother, Mary also displayed great personal godliness, Lk. 1-2:
        1. When the angel, Gabriel announced her conception as being of God, Mary submitted to God's will though it threatened her being accepted by Joseph due to her premarital status, Lk. 1:38, 45.
        2. Though she gave birth in a stable, Mary did not grow bitter, but treasured the event, Lk. 2:18-19.
    2. Yet, His godly family one day wrongfully thought Jesus was insane in His ministry effort, Mk. 3:21:
      1. The NIV fitly renders the KJV "friends" as "family" in Mk. 3:21, Blass Deb., Grk. Gr. of N.T., p. 124.
      2. It also correctly translates the KJV's "lay hold on him" and "beside Himself" as "to take charge (custody) of him" and "'He is out of his mind,'" Arndt & Gingrich, A Gr.-Eng. Lex., p. 449, 276.
      3. Thus, His brothers and mother from this reputable family felt Jesus was out of His mind because He was so busy ministering that He hardly had time to eat, so they came to take custody of Him, Mk. 3:20b-21! (B.K.C., N.T., p. 117-118)
    3. Jesus' response illustrates how we keep our bearings when facing similar challenges from reputable associates who are supposed to be supportive, but are incorrect in not doing so:
      1. When the crowd reported to Jesus that His mother and brothers were outside seeking Him, He responded by distinguishing God's will from His reputable earthly family's views, Mk. 3:32-34:
        1. Jesus asked who His real spiritual family was as compared with His earthly family, Mk. 3:32-33.
        2. Then He revealed that the best support group was not one forged by earthly blood ties so much as those who were surrounding Him and heeding God's will by hearing His teaching, Mk. 3:3 4.
      2. Thus, Christ's correct support group included those who did the will of God by heeding His teaching and thus enjoyed fellowship with Him, not those even spiritually reputable family ties outside who had incorrectly come to take custody of Him, Mk. 3:35.
      3. Thus, Jesus kept His bearings and kept doing God's will!
Lesson: When opposed by reputable ties in doing God's will, Jesus (a) distinguished between human ties and their views and subjected them to obeying God, Mk. 3:21, 31-34; (b) He then made those who obeyed God His support group even over reputable family ties, Mk. 3:35!

Application: To handle objections from even reputable blood ties as to what God's will is for us, (a) recall that all ties between humans are secondary in authority before God to Scripture. (b) Then, check to see what Scripture actually says and (c) fellowship with others who obey it for our needed human support group, 1 John 1:7. (d) Note: This does not mean that we neglect our responsibilities to blood ties. Jesus met his mother's support needs while on the cross, cf. Jn. 19:26-27. Yet, we need to mingle with a support group that encourages us to do God's will, cf. 2 Tim. 2:22 with "meta" for KJV "with", UBS Gr. N.T., p. 734; T.D.N.T., v. VII, p. 771.