When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.” And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebub! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons.” (Mark 3:21-22)
It is a little difficult to know which “this” Jesus’ family heard about. As we work our way backward from this passage we find Jesus casting out demons, gathering the twelve Apostles, and ministering in a place that is so full He and the others don’t have time to eat. Maybe the “this” included all of these things and more. Maybe Jesus’ family became worried when they saw the radical nature of His ministry gathering momentum.
The “this” for the teachers of the law is easier to discern. They were accusing Jesus of being possessed by demons. Otherwise, how could He cast out demons? Of course this logic was faulty since it was unlikely a demon-possessed man would go around healing demon-possessed men. But the teachers of the law were convinced Jesus must be working with Satan.
I know Jesus was the Son of God, and certain of His purpose. Still, I wonder how He managed His emotions when others doubted the validity of His mission. The spiritual guides who had been so much a part of His life as He was growing up thought He was possessed, and His own parents thought He was nuts!
Have you ever moved ahead with a personal dream, even though others around you were doubtful?
On one hand, it is important to listen to what others have to say. The people who know and love us can help us discern our gifts and the opportunities God has put before us to use them. On the other hand, if we only listen to other people, we may never pursue anything important to us.
It is true. No matter what you do in life, someone is going to try to discourage you. Some will question your ability and criticize your work. Others will focus on the risks. And a small number will intentionally try to stop you from achieving what you set out to do.
Why? You may never know for sure. In this morning’s passage Jesus’ family seemed genuinely concerned for His welfare. They must have thought He was in over His head. The teachers of the law were probably jealous of Jesus’ following and they also may have convinced themselves they were merely trying to protect others from a blasphemer.
I am not sure where the balance is between good counsel and discouragement, but I know the time comes when we are the only ones on earth who can hold on to our dreams. With the exception of God, who gave them to us, no one else is going to do this for us.
We must be careful we don’t pursue a dangerous path in our lives and ignore the concerns of others because we are convinced God is behind our ambitions. But we must also be careful we don’t let others keep us from doing what God wants us to do because they merely want to kill our dream.
A dream is a terrible thing to waste. Who is controlling your dreams today?
Dear God, give me wisdom as I pursue Your dreams for my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.