In the today's language of psychology, Jesus' family went to His home to have an intervention. Jesus was acting like a codependent and obviously needed help.  Based on our definition above, He was "excessively caretaking" others to the point that it was affecting His own health -- He wasn't even able to eat!  On the surface, it looks like Jesus was not able to set healthy boundaries.  He was putting His "own needs at a lower priority than others while being excessively preoccupied with the needs of others."

Is Jesus exhibiting codependence?  Is codependency a sin?  It is an intellectual cop-out to simply say, "Jesus was God" and shut down further discussion.  Hebrews 4:15 says that Jesus was "tempted in every way just as we are, yet without sin."  How do we reconcile the fact that Jesus was clearly exhibiting codependent behavior in this example, but yet was without sin?

Perhaps, this is simply an isolated incident in Jesus' life.  There are times that God calls us to sacrifice for the needs of others, but an on-going pattern of "putting one's needs at a lower priority than others" is simply unhealthy and can become codependent.  I'm not sure that this is the case, however.  Not too long after this, the same thing happens (Mark 6:31) -- so many people were crowding Jesus that there was no time to eat.  Now, Jesus seems to display healthier boundary-setting behavior than before, taking His disciples to a remote place to rest.  But when the crowds followed Him to the remote place, He can't seem to say "No" and decides to spend some time teaching them (Mark 6:32-34).  It honestly appears like Jesus has issues with setting healthy boundaries and is behaving like a codependent.

In Part 2, we'll look at some possible ways to reconcile this apparent discrepancy, and try to gain a better understanding of codependency.

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