This snapshot into Jesus’ life is very revealing. He is under a huge strain; so much so that meals were missed do to the workload. To many, he is a hero who has given them a new chance at living by healing their illness or freeing them from demonic oppression. To certain religious leaders, he was a threat that needed to be exposed and eliminated. And to his family at this point, he was considered crazy and in need of an intervention. Can you imagine the strain he was under as he continued his work with all of these forces weighing on him?
What inspires me in this reading is how Jesus handles the pressure and responds with strength, wisdom and clarity. With those who saw him as hero, he could have carried on like a celebrity and milked the praise. To those who were attempting to smear his character and reputation, he could have gone on “attack mode” and inciting the crowd to defend him. When his family didn’t believe in him, he could have blasted them and cut all ties in anger. But what we see in Jesus is very different. He doesn’t bask in praise from the crowd, react to critics in kind or reject his family. With courage, grace and wisdom he draws strength from his Father and handles each situation with deliberate words and actions that were completely appropriate.
When I get tired, hungry and under pressure, it is easy to begin excusing reactive and poor choices. In Jesus, I have a model for how to live differently and his Spirit who will give me what I need to do right, if I rely on him.
“For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13 (NLT)
“But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” Galatians 5:22-23 (TLB)