Devotion from Euguene Brunow – January 15, 2024

We are Jesus’ Family

The gospel lesson for this coming Sunday (Third Sunday after Pentecost) is Mark 3:20-35. The story begins by showing the immense popularity of Jesus. He returns to a house in Capernaum from the
mountain, where he appointed the Twelve, and a crowd gathers. The size and needs of the crowd prevent Jesus and his disciples from even eating.

Enter his immediate family. They thought He was delusional. They wanted to protect him from himself.

The scribes, who have come from Jerusalem, seize this situation, accusing Jesus of doing his many works because he is possessed by Beelzebul. Here Jesus does what he so often does with his disciples he calls
them together and teaches.

Jesus refutes the scribes’ accusation with simple logic. He uses three different examples to point out that nothing can stand which in a divided state. Jesus also strongly warns them that they are in danger of
blaspheming the Holy Spirit.

The sin against the Holy Ghost is committed when people obstinately refuse to believe in the saving work of Christ. These people had heard Jesus’ teaching and seen his miracles and still they would not believe.
It must be added here, as has been said so often, that if a person fears having committed this sin, he should be comforted with the fact that he has not committed this sin.

Jesus may have been disappointed that his brothers and sisters did not believe in him (they would after the resurrection). He was, however, very pleased with those who sat listening to every word of his. Through
the Holy Spirit we were brought to faith and into God’s family. Christ wants us, his family, to have a loving relationship with him like he had with the Father. That is why he continues to draw us close to him.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for the privilege of being included in your eternal family. Keep us in this faithand life forever. Amen. (TLSB)