This is our 20th devotional in the gospel of Mark! True, we’re only at chapter 3, but sometimes it’s best to go slowly through the things that are most important in life. Our verses today pause the action, giving us time to catch our breath and reflect. The passage includes a list of the twelve apostles of Jesus, along with some other interesting tidbits. We learn that Jesus’s family didn’t believe in him or support his mission. “And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for they were saying, ‘He is out of his mind’” (Mark 3:21). His own family thought he was insane! Why?
The Holy Ghost Notes would like to present to you, for the first time ever in biblical devotional literature history, “The Top Ten F-Words to Diagnose the Madness of Jesus.” Please enjoy responsibly!
Doesn’t everyone want fame? High social media stats, to be well known? Not Jesus! Jesus told everybody, including demonic spirits, not to tell anyone about him or his awesome miracles. He did not want any fame whatsoever, but only to help the needy. Surely he must be crazy!
Take a look at his followers. None were educated and all were subordinary working class men, a few of which were hated by their communities. Put another way, Jesus picked all the losers for his dodgeball team, like any fool would do.
His chosen, closest friends were the scum of society, notorious, dirty sinners. He partied with those who could give him nothing in return. They provided no social standing, material possessions, emotional support, or intellectual inspiration. Only a madman would choose these no-good friends.
Don’t you want the approval and acceptance of the leaders of society? Not crazy Jesus! He made enemies out of the well-to-do, respectable, educated community leaders of his day. Jesus easily could have won them over to be his friends and allies, but he wanted them to be his foes.
His biological family didn’t support him, but Jesus didn’t let this get under his skin. Instead, he chose a handful of listeners in an ordinary crowd to be his new mother and sister and brother (Mark 3:34). Everyone knows we can’t choose our families, but Jesus must not have gotten the memo.
You know that one weird family that doesn’t participate in Halloween or Christmas? Jesus was that guy. On one of the biggest holy days of the year, Jesus didn’t fast like everyone else, risking his neck with the religious leaders and his standing in the community. But then, on an ordinary day, Jesus fasted from food so that he could spend time with more people (Mark 3:20)!
When he was supposed to be fasting, Jesus was feasting with tax collectors and sinners. When questioned about this, Jesus told the authorities their day of fasting was like a day of feasting at a wedding celebration to him! He got everything backwards.
Starting here in Mark 3:19, Jesus begins to foreshadow his death. After picking the disciple named Judas, we’re told, “…and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.” Jesus purposefully picked a traitor to be on his team, whose purpose would be to hand Jesus over to death. Jesus will talk about his looming death frequently now, like any other nut.
Jesus claimed to be the Son of God, making God his Father. Not only did people think he was an inflamed narcissist, but also they suspected his theological chops. Only a crazy person would say that divinity could birth humanity. But Jesus insisted that God was his Father.
Along these lines, perhaps the most outrageous claim of this madman was he could forgive the sins of the whole world. For Jesus to do this, he would have to be both God and human; he would have to be the Judge, the judged, and the judgment price, all wrapped up into one perfect person.
The prevailing way to deal with a guy like Jesus is to say, “He is out of his mind.” But the thoughtful way, the dangerous way, is to use one more F-word, which is faith. Faith, after taking a long look at the world around us, says, “No, we are.”
- What does the average person think about Jesus? Do you think it lines up with who he really was?
- What surprises you about Jesus?
- How does Jesus turn our world upside down and how is he calling you to live your life differently?