Today’s reading shares an answer to one of the questions that appears frequently throughout the Gospel of Mark: “Who is Jesus?” As Jesus went home after appointing the twelve disciples, experts of the law gathered around and tried to answer that question by claiming Jesus was simply a man possessed by demons. In His own hometown, surrounded by people who should have known Him, Jesus was doubted and challenged, while the demons He had cast out knew Him and called Him the Son of God.
I have been married for fourteen years to my high school sweetheart, and over the course of the two decades we’ve been together, he has seen me change, grow, mature, fail, succeed, and embrace my gray hair. He has seen more in me than I could have hoped for, and if anyone knows who I am – who I really am – it’s him.
He also knows how hard it is when I’m around family or friends who still view me as I was 15 years ago. Their perception of the person I am – my motivations, likes, dislikes, abilities, and even personality – are set in the reality of who I WAS, not who I am now.
Those who gathered around Jesus may have known “of” Him – but they didn’t know Him. They saw what they wanted to see, a reality and a perception blinded by fear. Fear of what they couldn’t explain and fear of what they might lose – control, power, and comfort.
Who is Jesus? He is a healer, deliverer, friend, teacher, preacher, Son of God and Son of Man. Jesus is the greatest gift and the everlasting covenant. He is the one who looks at you and at me and sees all that we have been and all that we will be and says “I choose you to be my family.”
“And looking at those who were sitting around him in a circle, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.” Mark 3:34-35
In a crowd of people, Jesus saw family.
Gather in close to Jesus, friend. Choose to lean in, to settle into your place in the circle at the feet of our Savior and claim with all your heart that you are welcome there. When you feel unknown or misunderstood, He sees you. And the closer you get to Him, the more you learn about Him and believe about Him, you will discover who Jesus is: the One who not only came as our Savior, but the One who calls us His.
Crystal Stine is the author of Holy Hustle, Quieting the Shout of Should, and the Holy Hustle Planner. She serves as the Communications and Online Director for her church and has a passion for using social media as a mission field to reach as many as possible for Christ. You can connect with Crystal online at crystalstine.me, get a sneak peek of her books through several YouVersion reading plans, or find her on Instagram @crystalstine. Crystal lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and daughter.
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