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A house divided

Jesus had brothers and sisters! Not everybody knows that, but oddly, more people may know this account of him dissociating himself from them. An odd aspect of the story is how his mother, who earlier in his ministry (albeit in the very different world of the Gospel of John) not only believed in his power but pushed him (in a typically motherly way!) into performing his first miracle at the wedding in Cana, now believes he’s just a nut. Another odd aspect of the story is the logic Jesus uses to refute the accusations of his enemies. I’ve tried to call out both of these oddities in the play.

Thematically, however, the whole thing hangs together beautifully. Jesus bases his argument on the absurdity of a house divided, and then demonstrates the division that has apparently formed between himself and his own household. I added some divisions myself between various disciples and among Jesus’ accusers, and even within Mary’s own mind, and the whole thing ends with an assertion based on the more pragmatic logic of simple fact: everyone who does God’s will is his family. No divisions here!

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