Jesus’ public ministry has only just begun, and already great crowds of people are following him, to hear his teaching and to seek healing from illness, disability or possession by demons. But others are not so sure. Jesus’ relatives, motivated by love and concern for him, are afraid that he must be out of his mind. Why else would he leave behind home and family for the life of a wandering rabbi? The scribes, meanwhile, are blinded by jealousy when they declare that Jesus’ power over devils can only come from Beelzebul, the prince of devils himself.
Jesus’ response to the scribes is to point to the fruits of his ministry. How can Satan cast out Satan? Jesus’ healing power comes from the Holy Spirit. And even for his own family, Jesus has a challenging reply. Anyone who hears his words and does his Father’s will is his mother, sister or brother. His disciples are his family. Jesus models for us a love that is inclusive and uncompromising – and he asks us to follow his example. What might be obstructing us from responding to Christ’s call?