Conflict between Jesus and Mary

"He's gone crazy!" That's what Mary said when she heard about what Jesus was doing.

Artwork from the Torah Club Jesus, My Rabbi study, lesson "Speaking in Parables". (Image and art © First Fruits of Zion)

Word of the large crowds gathering in Capernaum drifted back to Nazareth where Yeshua’s mother, Mary, and His brothers still lived. Nothing could alarm a Jewish mother more than to hear that her son was not eating. In a panic, she summoned the rest of her sons and set out for Capernaum to “take custody of Him; for they were saying, ‘He has lost His senses’” (Mark 3:21). Yeshua’s mother and brothers intended to bring Him back to Nazareth, where they felt He belonged.

Arriving in Capernaum, Mary and her sons had no difficulty locating Yeshua. They found Simon Peter’s house surrounded by a crowd of people. The multitude pressed in so tightly that no one could get through to Yeshua (unless they went through the roof). Followers and onlookers crowded around doors and windows, trying to catch His words. Like everyone else crushing about the house, Mary and her sons were told to take a number and wait their turn. They sent word to Him: “Tell Him His mother and brothers are waiting outside looking for Him.”

Inside the house, Yeshua sat with a circle of His disciples around Him, the twelve whom He had recently chosen. Other disciples were squeezed into the room to hear His words. Suddenly someone interrupted. “Your mother and Your brothers are outside looking for you” (Mark 3:32).

The Master responded, “Who are My mother and My brothers?” (Mark 3:33). No one answered.

He knew they were outside, waiting to take Him back to Nazareth, but His loyalty remained with His students in Capernaum. He looked at the disciples seated in the circle around Him, stretched His hand over them and said, “Behold My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of God, he is My brother and sister and mother” (Mark 3:34-35).

When those words came back to His mother and brothers standing outside, they cut to the heart. Yeshua—their Yeshua—refused them in favor of His disciples. They still thought of Him as their own, as if they could take charge of Him and talk some sense into Him. They had not yet come to a place of humility where they could follow Him instead of insisting that He follow them. The incident created a rift between the Master’s natural family and His family of disciples—a rift still evident in John 7:2-12, where Yeshua’s brothers taunt Him dismissively.

Some years later, His mother, Mary, began to follow in the path of discipleship. No longer just His mother, she too put on the sandals of a disciple and followed Him to Jerusalem for His last Passover. The Master’s natural family and His disciple-family finally reconciled at the cross when He gave charge of His mother to His beloved disciple John. Ironically, He gave Mary, the who intended to take charge of Him and remove Him from the company of the disciples, into the charge of one of those disciples. After the cross, the family of Yeshua rejoined Him as part of the larger family of Messiah. The resurrected Yeshua appeared to James, and James became the universally acknowledged head of the assembly of believers. His brothers became His brothers again, not just on filial terms, but as those who do God’s will and place faith in God’s Son.

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The new study track highlights God’s divine wisdom through the weekly Torah portions. The Beginning of Wisdom is direct, counter-cultural, and biblically rooted, calling Yeshua’s disciples to magnify their fear and love of God.



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