It can be painful to be misunderstood by those we love. I’ve mentioned before that Jesus experienced that in the temple when he was 12. His own parents didn’t understand him.
Here again, we see his family not understanding him. Because he was so involved in God’s work that he didn’t even have time to eat, his family started to think he was crazy, and so they came to “take charge of him.” It would be easy to assume that it was just his (half-)brothers and sisters that thought he was crazy, but Mary was there too, apparently. She knew he wasn’t crazy, but she was probably nonetheless concerned about his health.
But the crowds were so thick around Jesus, they couldn’t reach him, and so they had word passed to Jesus that they were there. But when Jesus heard this, probably knowing their intentions to take him away from doing God’s work, he didn’t go out to them. Instead, he looked around at the disciples gathered around him, and said,
“Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” (Matthew 12:48-50).
“My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice.” (Luke 8:21)
There may be times when those you love will try to pull you away from doing God’s will. Sometimes they think you’re crazy. Sometimes they may think you’re overdoing it.
But what we need to remember is that we are not here to please them. We are here to please God. To hear what God is telling us to do, and to do it.
Now part of what God tells us to do is to honor and love our family. And God certainly doesn’t want us to do more than he’s called us to do because that can lead to burnout.
With that in mind, however, God is to be closer to our hearts than our own family. His desires for us are to supersede even our own family’s desire for us.
Does he have priority in your life? Or is our family pulling us away from the things that God has called us to do?
This is, by the way, one reason why it’s important to marry a Christian. Because when you don’t, conflicts between what your spouse wants and what God wants are inevitable. Even if your spouse claims to be a Christian, if they are not walking with God and are not sensitive to his voice, conflicts can arise as you seek to follow Him.
So let us give our hearts to people who have given their hearts to God. More than that, let us give all our hearts, souls, and minds to the one who died for us and rose again.
Who has your heart?