A few months back we were at the zoo with my parents, my brother, and his family on a cold and rainy day. Though the weather wasn't great, apparently the cooler temperatures made the animals more active, and of particular interest to us were the lions. One lion was pacing back and forth in front of the thick pane of glass that separated us from him, and he made his presence known by the muddy paw prints that were all over the glass and his low growling. He may have been in captivity, but he wasn't tame. Try as the zookeepers might, I'm not sure they ever could have tamed the beast. There was a point in time when Jesus' family tried to tame Him, but He wasn't going to succumb, either. They were embarrassed by the scenes He was creating, and they told their friends that He was "out of His mind" as a way of covering up for their confused brother and son. What was He doing? Healing people. Ticking off the Pharisees. Doing the forbidden on the Sabbath. We don't really know what Jesus' family thought of Him before this, but He was clearly becoming a family liability. So they went to tame Him. Only He refused to go home with them. "Who are my mother and brothers?" He asked. What's ironic is that Jesus was the one who had it right; He understood what it meant to listen to and obey the Father. His family had God in their midst, and they missed Him.
We love taming people, don't we? When we hear that someone wants to go on the mission field, we think he or she is crazy. My brother and his family are getting ready to adopt a child from Uganda, and people think they've lost their minds. But read their story, and you will see that only God is capable of planting such an idea in their minds. The life of faith is one that doesn't make sense to those who aren't living it but makes perfect sense to those who are. Should we be locked away and hidden from others so we're not an embarrassment? That's what Jesus' family wanted for Him. But He refused to the point of disowning them as His family. His mission was too important to give in to the pleas of His misunderstanding kin. He was the Lion of Judah. He didn't come to be tamed; He came to show us how to truly live.