Mark 3:20-22 ~ And the multitude cometh together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread. And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself. And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth he out devils.
Let the ministry begin…
Jesus had just ordained the twelve disciples that He might send them forth to preach and the ministry explodes. The people had just seen Him heal the man with the withered hand, they’d heard the wisdom by which He spoke that even awed the religious leaders, although they’d have never said as much. And now they’ve gathered themselves in such great multitude around Him that they couldn’t even get a bite to eat. Crazy times!
And then I read that verse, and re-read that verse thinking surely it did not say what I thought it said. His friends thought He had lost His mind? I resorted to commentaries. They thought it said the same thing. Why on earth would His friend think that He was “beside Himself” in the midst of great things happening in the work of the Lord. What kind of friends of the faith do that? Many of them then and many of them now. Ministry growth scares people. It’s as if it’s a car plummeting down a steep grade without brakes. When God’s doing a great work people are excited, religious leaders lose control, crazy things are happening, people are getting healed, nasty people are getting nice, undesirables are hanging around to see if it’s true, and when they discover the Lord they are still undesirable people to many. The religious leaders say that He’s of the devil. They’re totally freaked out by the whole thing. They just don’t “get” God.
But I go back to the friends… why would His friends think He was crazy? I guess it’s because crazy things are happening that made them uncomfortable. New people were pushing in as close as they could get to Him, there was a flurry of excitement around Him, people were getting healed, religious people were getting upset and Jesus, well, I guess He was enjoying it so much that He didn’t even care if He got a bite to eat. And His friends think, “He’s crazy.”
I want to get crazy like that! I want my church to be so exciting that it makes the religious uncomfortable, and those with a pre-conceived notion of how church people ought to behave to question it. I want our church to attract the undesirables, who are only undesirable to the religious, Jesus can’t wait until they get to church. I would rather have church in a house because Jesus shows up, than in a church where He’s not welcome. I want a radical reaction from people who hear the gospel, not “reverend religion” that makes Jesus nauseous. Maybe that is why He didn’t eat. I want to be crazy like that!
It’s Sunday morning, I have one hundred things that need done for church camp, but I’m excited about Sunday morning services. Are you crazy like that? Let’s go to church today and wait for the radicals to show up, or better still let’s lead them in!
Mark 3:20-22 was the first day of official ministry for the disciples and it just got crazier from there. Hallelujah! Let the ministry begin…