Then Jesus went home; and the crowd came together again, so that they could not even eat. When his family heard it, they went out to restrain him, for people were saying, ‘He has gone out of his mind.’
(Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)
A few times in my life I have felt threatened, if not physically, then verbally and spiritually. Perhaps the worst was just before my ordination as a deacon in 1987 and later in 1994 as a priest. At the time many people were struggling with these new positions for women and they generated a lot of opposition. In 1994 I was working as a Diocesan Officer in Worcester, and at weekends as a Minor Canon of the cathedral. I received a number of anonymous letters calling me horrible names and accusing me, and others, of destroying the Church. Some were truly vile, but because of the unwavering backing of my husband and family and my faith that God had called me to be ordained, I managed to take much of it in my stride, although it was a very stressful time.
For Jesus, opposition was likely to be downright dangerous, but from his family it would have been very painful. The proverb "No-one is a prophet in their own country!" or as the Victorians said "No man is a hero to his valet!" seems to apply here! There is no mention of Mary, so this opposition seems to be from his half-brothers and sisters and their spouses. They may well have been simply fearful for his life - as well as worried that opposition from the authorities would bring the Romans down upon them all!
What we do know is that Jesus had set his course to follow the wishes of his Heavenly Father, whether that path was easy or hard, and nothing would stop him. That course is the same one that we travel, and nothing should stop us from our mission as Christians to take our Father's love to others.
Lord Jesus Christ,
You faced opposition from so many quarters
and yet You had set Your course
to fulfil the request of Your Heavenly Father.
You were strong even knowing the power
of the opposition,
and the pain of disagreeing with Your family.
May we too stride forward to fulfil our
whether the world supports us or not,
knowing that we are called to follow You.