21 And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself.
We don’t meet them, and we don’t get to know their names. He knew them, and they thought they knew Him. The friends of Jesus, or some say relatives, but since it mentions His Mother and brethren a few verses after, let’s go with friends.
They loved Him enough to check on Him, but they didn’t understand. What do you do when the people who love you, don’t believe in you? It wasn’t only Jesus’ friends from the thirty years of obscurity. His own stepbrothers, the sons of Mary and Joseph, didn’t believe, until after the resurrection!
We get discouraged when we don’t feel we get any support from our circle, but neither did He. I realize that He was, and is God Incarnate, but He was also a man. An the men who He grew up around, those He called friends, didn’t understand Him.
I find it ironic, and fitting, that the last person mentioned in verse nineteen, Judas, would also call Him friend. Some friends will love you, but not understand. Others will care about you, but not believe in you. A few will act like friends, until something or someone more valuable is between the two of you. Guess which one they’ll choose, and what they’ll do to you to get it.
Support systems are important, and friends and loved ones are precious. Still, the absence of them, does not prevent you from being successful. I’m not saying to go it alone, merely follow the path of Jesus.
To everything He did, because He was both God and man, Jesus applied prayer. He did this for two reasons. One, because as both, He knew the value of it. Prayer keeps flesh in subjection, and provides direction. Second, it was for our example.
If Jesus prayed, even before Calvary, how can we take any significant step without bowing our heads first? The morning The Lord Jesus walked to the river Jordan to be baptized, He knew something. First, He knew it was God’s will, and second, that He was walking to one thing, and away from another.
He was leaving security, literally trading life for death. The majority of His circle would look at Him like He was wrong. Then eventually, a lot of them would stop caring. We don’t read of another reference of His friends ever trying again after this.
The Lord had weighed the cost of His calling, before He walked into it, on the scales of prayer. This was what He was supposed to do. He knew it, and He didn’t allow, even loving voices to stop Him. Notice, He did not stop listening. Another place, His brothers, who He knew didn’t believe, tried to influence Him. Jesus was kind, but unswayed.
Don’t allow those who do not believe in you, to discourage you. Listen, pray about their words, counsel with your Pastor, and then do what’s right. Jesus did not allow their lack of confidence, to shake His. He also surrounded Himself, not with yes men, but good men. These friends show up, after He had selected the twelve.
In life, you will be part of groups. Some groups will always be connected to you, but you will no longer be a part of them. Other groups will be with you for the rest of your life. Don’t get caught up by the fact you don’t always know which is which. Jesus knew, and still endured the pain associated with it.
Instead, know this. Know you have prayed, that the Man Of God in your life is on board, and that you are doing God’s will. If you know this, then keep walking. He will replace the old group with the new one. It will have men like Simon, James, and John in it.
Yes, there may also be a Judas in it, but the road of purpose will have a few crooks who try to snatch you away from it, or try to kill you on it. Keep walking, keep listening to the right voices first, and continue to love those who do not understand. One day, just as some did post Calvary, they may see what you saw first, and follow too.