Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, “Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.”
There have been times when I thought to myself, “What’s wrong with them?” But I know for certain that there were more times when other people asked “The Question” about me! What’s wrong with Chet?
While there had been many minor rashes of “The Question,” in my life, the first major outbreak happened in 1978 when I decided to leave the safety of family, friends, and our hometown of Baltimore, MD and move 90 minutes north to Wilmington, DE. I was the first, and remain the only person in our immediate families that left the Baltimore area.
Yes, I was questioned over and over about the move. I must have heard “What’s wrong with you?” and all its variations over a hundred times. What’s wrong with Baltimore? What’s wrong with your job? What’s wrong with your church? What’s wrong with us that you would want to move away?
But the biggest problem wasn’t about me. While the somewhat more important hurdle was the question about Mary Ann moving, the Mount Everest of all barriers and questions was our daughter. She was the only granddaughter on my side of the family and the first grandchild on my wife’s family.
I could have left, no problem. Sometimes I thought that was the prevailing sentiment. But taking little Jenny Ann, that was the mother of all stumbling blocks to the family. I got many different intervention approaches: the cold shoulder, the icy stare, the single-syllable answers, the indifferent responses to my questions. Mostly what I got was the indirect approach.
But Jesus family went in the totally different direction. There was nothing indirect about what they did. They took the absolutely direct approach. And why?
When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.”
They weren’t going to just talk with him. Make suggestions to him. No, they were going to grab him by the arm, or whatever else they needed to grab and pull him out of there. Their plan was to take Jesus by force and, if necessary, against his will.
This was their intervention plan.
Funny thing though, Jesus was never forced to do anything. Even in this situation, Jesus does what he wants to do, what he needs to do. Jesus was never forced to do something he didn’t want to. Think about his arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane, the mob comes armed to the teeth, expecting trouble.
And what happens when they come? He doesn’t hide or try and get out of it. He points to himself as the guy they are looking to arrest. He identifies who he is. He steps up to the plate. And what’s their reaction? They step back and fall to the ground. He then again asks who they are looking for and points to himself. He also tells the mob to let everyone else go free.
Yes, Jesus was seized and arrested, but he was in control. He was arrested because that’s what he wanted, that’s what God required. He willingly gave himself up for us.
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”
Jesus was willing to walk into the time and place where he was going to be sacrificed for us. His life was not taken, it was freely given as the once-and-for-all sacrifice for all sin. Past, present, and future sin was all taken care of by Jesus on the cross.
As we look back, we need to ask ourselves what we did to deserve so great a sacrifice? What did we do to earn his loving payment? And the answer is absolutely nothing. He did it all out of his love for us. A love that wants nothing but the absolute best for us. A love where he does all the paying and dying while we get all the forgiveness, restoration, and blessing.
His family tried to intervene, and they failed. Jesus intervened for us, and he succeeded. Both now and for all eternity.