Lesson 134—October 16, 2016
Is He Crazy?
Scripture: Mark 3:20-21 and secondary & important Scriptures—Matthew 12:22 through 13:53; Matthew 8:18, 23-34; Luke 8:19-21; Luke 8:4-39
Lesson Goal: To remain focused on the goal even when misunderstood by foes, friends and even family.
The events of our next few lessons all occurred on the same day, called by scholars the “Busy Day.” This “Busy Day” is just one of many such days in the Master’s ministry. Observe Jesus in the forenoon teaching a crowded audience (Mark 3:19), some of whom insult and blaspheme Him, and others demand a sign, and at length his mother and brethren try to carry Him off as insane (see Mark 3:21); in the afternoon giving a group of most remarkable parables, several of which He interprets; towards night crossing the lake in a boat, so tired and worn that He sleeps soundly amid the alarming storm; then healing the Gadarene demoniacs, and returning by boat, apparently the same evening. What a day of toil and trial (Roberson).
(Mark 3:20) Such a large crowd gathered that Jesus, His disciples and some followers could not eat. These were very busy times for Jesus. People were anxious to hear His words.
(v. 21) “But when His own people heard about this, they went out to lay hold of Him…” In the context of this passage, we find the apostles, the others who followed, Jesus’ own people (friends and family members), and neighbors (perhaps from earlier years of His life), as well as those who gathered close because they were curious or critical of Jesus.
In describing the account of verses 21 and 22, Dwight Pentecost states:
We come now to a crucial turning point in the relationship between the Pharisees, the nation, and Christ. From Mark’s account, we observe that once again a multitude was crowding about Christ. So great were the demands on Him that it was impossible for Him to take time to eat. Christ’s “friends” considered that He needed to be protected from Himself, and so they sought to take
charge of Him. Their statement, “He is out of His mind,” indicated that they thought His zeal bordered on insanity.
We must understand that not all of those who were concerned about Jesus’ state of mind were critical of Him. The ones spoken of in verse 21, “His own people,” literally means friends, neighbors, and perhaps family.
Again I remind you of the words of J. Vernon McGee:
Note the reaction of His friends. If a man devotes his life to some noble but earthly cause, he is applauded. The musician, the athlete, the businessman, the artist, or the statesman who gives himself to his work is recognized for his total devotion. But if a man gives himself in total dedication to the cause of God, he is branded as a fanatic.
At this point in Jesus’ ministry, His zeal and passion is misunderstood by friends and foes alike. Friends want to protect Him; foes want to punish Him. From His friends and family, He is offered protection; from His foes, He is offered punishment.
Is it the nature of true friendship and family loyalty to protect those we care about? Please explain.
Please explain how this is demonstrated in the “parent and child” relationship. Have you ever been over-zealous in your desire to protect someone you love? (Please remember that this protection is certainly not always a physical protection from harm.)
Have you ever been critical of someone whose life (proven by the test of time) exemplified the true character of a follower of Jesus Christ?
The fact that Christ’s foes would label Him a fanatic, lunatic, or radical does not surprise us. Throughout the pages of Scripture we find many examples of this. Please read 2 Kings 9:11 and Acts 26:24.
The world actually gets excited, applauds and awards those who are zealous in affairs of finance, science, art, athletics, commerce or business. But what happens when someone has a true zeal as a follower of Jesus Christ? What happens when someone genuinely and sincerely surrenders their life daily to the lordship of Jesus Christ?
If someone injures his health by study or excessive attention to business, no fault is found—he is a hard worker. But if he wears himself out with preaching or spends his whole life doing good to souls, the cry is raised: “He is too enthusiastic and too righteous.” The world has not changed. The things that come from the Spirit of God are always foolishness to people without the Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:14) (Ryle).
Jesus is misunderstood. His message is misunderstood. His ministry is misunderstood. His motives are misunderstood. Some thought that Jesus “needs a straitjacket and padded cell” (Akins). Daniel Akins draws some very practical conclusions from these verses, as they apply to ministers. [These can also be applied to the life of a follower of Jesus]:
What words of wisdom can we glean from this text so that we might have a faithful ministry where we start well, run well and finish well? Jesus perfectly exemplified a master teacher and faithful minister of the gospel of the Kingdom, and we can list several points of application from His pattern.
1) Know who you are and why you are here.
2) Make time to get away. Take control of your schedule and calendar. If you don’t, others will.
3) Surround yourself with others you can train, delegate to, and send out to the work of ministry.
4) Recognize that no matter how hard you try and how much you invest, some are going to disappoint you.
5) Remember the ministry is a 24-7 calling that requires your constant attention and management.
6) Understand that those closest to you may misunderstand you and even oppose you.
7) Never forget: all that matters in life and ministry is that you please God and do His will.
How can, or do, any of the above applications apply to your life? Please explain.