In Case You Missed It…
Last week at NoonDay we continued our walk through the book of Mark with a quick look at Mark 3:13-35, which you really ought to take a minute to read. In this passage, basically, Jesus goes nuts. That’s right, nuts. He calls his disciples to himself and suddenly there’s a packed crowd at the house where he’s staying, so packed that his own family are stuck on the outside looking in! And it’s not a real friendly crowd; they accuse him of being demon possessed, which he isn’t real happy about. The climax seems to be the point when he is told that his family is waiting for him outside and he tells the crowd, “…whoever does the will of God, he is My brother and sister and mother.”
So, what do we take from this intense little scene? Two things: first, notice that the whole thing starts not with the final packed house, but with Jesus summoning his close friends. The text says that he, “…summoned those whom He Himself wanted.” Then, when his family tried to reach him through the crowd, Jesus lobs a bombshell into the crowd by redefining his definition of family. He points to people who share his purpose, people who are on the same life track that he is, as the ones who he considers most special. It’s about purpose, not blood (John 6:38, Mark 3:35). Let that sink in for a minute.
Jesus chose his friends with care. Do you? How much care do you put into choosing your friends? If you’re like most people, you don’t think about it all, you just slowly develop relationships with whoever the world throws your way. That isn’t necessarily wrong, but its not exactly ideal either. 1 Corinthians 15:33 says, “Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company corrupts morals.'” And Proverbs 18:24 adds, “A man of too many friends comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Sage advice.
Obviously, your blood relatives matter. They matter a lot. But before you just throw in with whoever your boss hired to sit next to you, or buddy up with a roommate who just happened to answer an ad, or a teammate just because they wear the same uniform, think about your purpose. Be intentional. You can hang out with anyone, but a true friend is a treasure you need to put some thought into.