I probably should have been putting links in to the relevant Bible passage, so here it is if you want to read it:
Jesus comes home, at least that’s what it most likely means. He was probably living at the home of Peter’s extended family. The crowds are back again. And for some reason, people close to Jesus try to ‘lay hold on him’. They’re not happy with the way things are going, and they have some concerns about the way Jesus is in himself. The Greek word is existemi, which means in this context – out of balance, out of alignment, out of his mind …
That gives Jesus’ opponents a way in to score a point. Their thinking might have been along these lines: if Jesus’ own friends are concerned about him, use this to take advantage of the situation. They go a step further and say that Jesus is evil – his power comes from the devil.
Well, if I’m looking at the Gospel through conflict eyes, there’s no shortage here! All the various conflicts that have been referred to in the Gospel already are here! Conflict between Jesus and his own circle, (whether it is family or friends), between Jesus and the authorities and between Jesus and evil.
I’m making connections now with the political situation here in America. I’m a novice when it comes to American Politics, so these observations may not be very deep or well informed, but what I think they do is point to the insecurities that we all feel, and the speed with which we can make judgments, usually to bolster our own position.
President Obama just made a speech at Cairo University.
Link to the relevant page on the BBC website (which has a video link for the whole speech)
The speech has generally been well received as good news. It seems to build on other things that the president has said that indicate some changes of the approach to the Middle East in this American administration.
However, one of the members of our class, a church pastor, had a call on his mobile phone that took him out of class this morning. It was a member of his congregation, ringing to ask if he (the pastor) thought that President Obama is the antichrist because of the nature of his engagement with the Arab (Muslim) world.
Sometimes we confuse what is good with what is evil. We wrongly identify a work of God as a work of the devil. Or sometimes we’re just not quite sure to make of what we see and hear. Our beliefs and preconceptions prevent us from seeing and hearing things clearly.
Again, a question I want to ask is ‘What are you afraid of?’