Eventually she thought better of her decision, choosing a more logical way to serve those less fortunate, but the words that I had screamed were reflective of the words of my own mother when, at 18, I said I was moving across the state...when, at 35, I said I was moving to another state...when (never mind what age) I said I was going to New York City (on Sept. 10, 2001, no less)...and then when, having survived 9-11, I announced that I would be going to the Holy Land in the middle of its most recent conflict for 10 days as a journalist. 


"Have you lost your mind?"

Lessons from Mary


We aren't the first mothers to ask this question and, if you've already had to say it a few thousand times, neither are you. And neither was Jesus' mother Mary. Or are you even aware she did? Remember the story that led Jesus to ask, "Who are my mother and brothers?" That's the one. Though we are quick to remember Jesus' reaction to their visit while He ministered and taught, I think we sometimes forget the reason for the trip.


The Scriptures gives us three versions of the story. Let's begin with Matthew.  "While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him." -- Matthew 12:46 


Jesus had just been in the middle of some fairly "hot" preaching and healing.  He had even pronounced some curses along the way. ("Woe to you, Korazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida!...and you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to the skies? No, you will go down to the depths.- Matthew 11:21,23) He had just finished speaking of "the sign of Jonah" and evil spirits coming out of a man. (Matthew 12:38 ff) All of a sudden, "Jesus, your mother and brothers are outside and I believe they want to have a little chat with you...."


Luke's version of this story tells us that Mary and the brothers were outside because the crowds around her son/their brother were "pressing." A woman who-at one time-had every access to her young man now couldn't get to Him even to speak privately.


But why had they gone?  Mark gives us the reason in Mark 3: 20, 21, which reads: "Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, 'He is out of his mind.' (Hebrew: Existemi, meaning: to be out of one's mind, besides one's self, insane.)


Ah! There are those words again! "Have you lost your ever-loving mind?"


We can imagine what the conversation was like between Jesus and His family members (once He went out to speak with them), but we can't know for sure. (Personally, I envision Him cupping her nearing middle-age face with His hand and whispering, "It will be okay, Eema. [Mom] This is why I came. This is my purpose.")