Monday, October 25, 2010

NT75 Day 43: Mark 1-4

Following Jesus in obedience means a strain on personal relationships is inevitable.

That's not a popular statement, admittedly.  But it's nevertheless true.  It was even true in Jesus' life.  In today's reading in chapter three, Jesus own family thought He was crazy and tried to extricate Him from embarrassing (to them) social situations.  They had no idea who He really was and no idea what He was truly doing.  Strain.

Sometimes the strain comes from us not following Jesus or choosing between two options that are both good.  That's not the strain we see in Mark 3.  This strain comes from Jesus doing exactly what the Father desires Him to do exactly how the Father desires Him to do it, saying exactly what the Father wants Him to say.  Strain.

I had a stunning conversation one time with a lady named Joyce.  She is a missionary in southeast Asia, though she was in Africa at the time.  Sitting at our dinner table, we were talking through life and kids and family and following Jesus.  We asked about her kids and how she, as a mom, managed to wrestle through the argument and slog through the decision of putting her kids in a Muslim country for their formative years.  For me, it's one thing to suffer personally (which she did).  It's another to ask my spouse to suffer together with me (which they did).  It's a whole other level for me to ask my kids to suffer, to be on the receiving end of my strain in following Jesus.

Her reply still gets to me:  "I think the most important thing that my kids can see is a mom and dad who are willing to follow Jesus."

And I'll close with this song from the prophetic Keith Green.  It's worth your 4 minutes, I promise.

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