Free-thinkers and Rule-breakers

In the face of opposition, Jesus takes this on as a teaching moment.

Read Mark 3:20-35.

In this passage, we have two groups who seem to share a common purpose: shutting down this rule-breaking, norm-challenging preacher. For his family, there’s only one explanation for Jesus’ behavior: he must be out of his mind. And for the religious heavy-hitters who come down from Jerusalem, the answer is clear. God does not work this way. God does not just heal people willy-nilly without the involvement and approval of the temple. So, obviously, Jesus is doing the work of Satan. Rather than reacting to these accusations, though, Jesus takes this on as a teaching moment. If there is any healing taking place, if there is any good coming from what he is doing, then it’s impossible for it to be coming from anyone besides God, who is the source of all that is good.

Quite often, we as a church want to shut down our free-thinkers or those who want to step outside the box of “what we’ve always done” and try something new. We dismiss them as foolish or maybe even accuse them of having bad intentions, often because it takes too much work and too much imagination to get on board. We’d rather just do what seems easy and comfortable, thank you very much. But look at who Jesus calls his true family: those who sat with him and accompanied him as he did his thing. They may not even have actively participated, but we do get the sense that they surrounded him with acceptance, affirmation, and support.

What rule-breaking, norm-challenging ministries might God be calling our church to try? Who might God be equipping with vision and the right personality, skills, etc.? Is it you? In what ways could you sit with this person and surround them with encouragement and support?

In prayer, ask for the clarity to see where God might be casting new vision.


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