As was prophesied by Simeon, Jesus caused his mother a lot of heartache.
Jesus didn’t do this on purpose; it was a side-effect of choosing to do his Father’s will rather than the world’s.
We need to be like Jesus in everything we do.
After setting her son on the path to ministry work, Mary got caught up in her motherly instincts and tried to protect Jesus from his enemies (like Peter later did and was called “Satan” for his efforts). This put Mary in direct opposition to Jesus until his resurrection, at which time she turned and became his follower.
In fact, when Jesus asked “Who is my mother? Who are my brethren?… Those who do the will of my Father in Heaven are my brother, sister and mother”, it was in direct reference to Mary and his siblings. He didn’t say this to hurt his family but to show the primacy of the spiritual bond shared by those who do God’s will. Our spiritual brethren are closer to us in kinship than our blood relatives. That’s why ALL (not some, ALL) of the disciples left their blood families, including spouses and children, when they started to follow Jesus. The focus on the blood-relative family that dominates the worldly church is anti-Christ.
Again, we are to follow Jesus in everything we do. We are not to follow the world, even if it calls itself Christian.
It is highly likely that those of you who are genuinely born-again have no born-again blood relatives, or at least none who are still on Earth. Being born-again is a lonely state (or better said, being born-again is an alone state). It puts you in conflict not only with your blood relatives, but also with the world in general. Paul told us to get along as much as possible with everyone, and Jesus said to make friends of the children of mammon so we have a fall-back if we fail, and we’d be wise to follow their advice. But our closest friends cannot be people of the world. That includes members of our family, if they’re not born again.
In any case, if we’re genuine followers of Jesus, people of the world won’t want to be around us. They’ll find any excuse not to be around us. We make their skin crawl, even if we don’t mention God or Jesus. Don’t take it personally (never be offended); it’s a spiritual aversion, not a personal one. Only when they’re on a mission from the devil (and I’m not jesting here) will people of the world seek out our company. Welcome them with the same courtesy and kindness you would anyone else, but be careful not to fall into their trap. If you give into them, you will suffer for it, but so will they for leading you astray.
When Jesus was in his house in Capernaum, Mary came looking for him not to help with his ministry, but to take him home to Nazareth (you know, the place that ran him out of town and tried to kill him). She thought he’d lost his mind in claiming to be the Messiah, and didn’t want him to be arrested. She well knew the penalty for falsely claiming to be the Messiah was death, particularly since the religious powers-that-be at the time were closely aligned with the Roman occupiers and didn’t want to lose their comfortable status quo, even for the genuine King of the Jews.
Mary knew Jesus was special among humans, but she likely considered him to be another prophet, rather than “that Prophet” (as Moses called the Messiah). We shouldn’t fault Mary for this. In most (not all, most) mothers, the instinct to protect their children from harm overrides any other allegiance. Mary was trying to protect Jesus when she came to get him in Capernaum.
We are also guilty, to some extent, of wanting to override God’s Commandments and Jesus’ teachings when it comes to our own loved ones. We don’t want to hurt them. We want to protect them. We tend to see the short-term benefits rather than the long-term ones, the worldly consequences rather than the heavenly ones.
But being a follower of Jesus means that we likely have to turn our backs on our blood relatives, even to the point of not attending our own father’s funeral if it conflicts with God’s will. This is a hard pill for many people to swallow. Worldly Christians will outright refuse, and even born-agains will hesitate and mull it over and maybe ask God if there’s a way around it, a way to compromise that keeps their blood relatives and other loved ones from being hurt. Most times there isn’t: there is only God’s way or the world’s way.
The parable of the wedding guests is a prime example of people who chose what appears to be good (the world’s way) over what is actually good (God’s way). The invitees had any number of excuses why they could not attend the feast, all of which in the eyes of the world (and in the eyes of most Christians today) would have been reasonable, such as just having gotten married or just having purchased land or other possessions that needed looking after. How can you argue with the reasonableness of those responsibilities? And yet Jesus did just that, showing how these people were condemned in God’s eyes for choosing what had value in the world rather than what had value in the Kingdom.
We need always to choose what has value in God’s eyes, even and especially when it conflicts with the world and our loved ones. Jesus didn’t cave to his mother’s pleas to go home to Nazareth; in fact, he dismissed them as inconsequential, just as the invited wedding guests should have dismissed their new wife as inconsequential or their new land as inconsequential, just as Matthew actually did dismiss his tax collector job as inconsequential and Peter his family and fishing business as inconsequential.
All that should matter to us, as born-again believers, is doing God’s will, not the world’s will, and not our family’s will. Yes, you may cause your family some measure of heartache, but the alternative is your eternal damnation. When it comes down to choosing between what pleases God and what pleases your family, always choose to please God, like Jesus did.
Be like Jesus in everything you do.