09 June 2018


genesis 3:9-15; 2 corinthians 4:13—5:1; mark 3:20-25

a teen wrote on a blog: «i feel misunderstood by my family. whenever i have difficult things going on in my life, i can’t talk to anyone in my family about it as they usually just try and tell me that they get what i’m feeling. they don’t. has anyone else had the same experience and am i crazy for having these emotions?»
an adult told me: «i feel trapped in a world that judges me at every turn and yet never bothers to try to help or understand.»

sounds familiar? have you ever been misunderstood? has anyone taken your words/motives and twisted them around? the writer pandora poikilos puts it succinctly: «they have the unique ability to listen to one story and understand another.»

well… jesus experienced something similar! nearly everyone he met misunderstood him and his mission. nearly everyone misrepresented his words and his works. the things he did and said in love were used to attack him in hate!
today’s gospel is one of the «sandwiches»—passages in which one event is inserted into another—in mark’s gospel. here, the beelzebul controversy with the scribes is inserted between the coming of jesus’ family to take him home and his pronouncement about his true family. 
mark makes a deliberate correspondence between jesus’ family and the scribes. both misunderstand jesus and his mission. both cannot grasp—without the «filters» of their interpretations—the single-minded dedication of jesus to GOD’s will. his family thinks he is «out of his mind»; the scribes say he is in league with «the prince of demons».  

how did jesus deal with misunderstanding? 
on this occasion, he refused to return home with his relatives. though his mission was proving to be frustrating, he refused to quit. he had a mission and he would accomplish it. he made his family those who accepted him and this mission of doing his father’s will. 
he confronted the scribes. he showed them that they refused to see the power of GOD at work in his person and his works.
at other moments, he chose to remain silent.

how do i respond when people misunderstand me and my motives/mission? am i willing to endure the loneliness of being misunderstood? 
i need to learn from jesus to be steadfast in my mission; to find «family» that accepts me and my mission; to confront people when needed, and to remain silent at other moments. i have a right to respond but not an obligation to!