The first verses of Mark 3:20-35 set up conflict. First off, Jesus and the disciples are hungry and prevented from eating! Then there is the conflict with Jesus and his family of origin. And finally, Jesus and the scribes from Jerusalem. And the possibility of conflict between the demonic and the human is raised.
And this is pretty much life, isn’t it? We’re going to be hungry; the daily toil is going to take its toll. We’re going to have family trouble or misunderstandings now and then. We’re going to have trouble with those in authority if we don’t, for example, pay our income tax or get our proper car tags or all sorts of things. Or we could have trouble with authority in terms of the workplace, if you think things should be done differently at work. Jesus was basically having workplace trouble, yes?
So sometimes the trouble is righteous – Jesus is right about God’s love being the way forward to heal a broken world (or so we trust). It is still trouble.
Sometimes, as I would guess with demons trouble just falls on you (lets just roll with this for now, I don’t really know what to think about “demons”, but I hesitate to say it is all metaphor, that feels wrong to do somehow). And certainly with illness mental or physical, trouble just happens to you.
This just is not a perfect world, then or now.
In the previous blog I noted how the structure of this scripture mentions the conflict between Jesus and his family but immediately goes into the situation with the scribes before circling back to family. Why this “wrapping” structure? Perhaps one truth is that family drama is pretty much horrible; we want our family to be fine and in harmony. So that conflict being most important, for most of our hearts, it wraps around the conflict between Jesus and the scribes from Jerusalem.
As far as I can tell, however, Jesus and the disciples remained hungry during all of this.