He Must Be Out of His Mind

 
jake-melara-1405-unsplash.jpg
 
 
 

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

There was a time when everyone thought Jesus was nuts, His mom included. The Pharisees accused Him of being possessed and His family thought He was insane. They actually wanted to take Him away, maybe get some help, or hide Him from the public for a little while.

From the various alternate readings to this text, it seems that early Christians didn’t like the idea of Jesus’ family thinking He was crazy. But that’s exactly what they thought. Jesus needs some Zoloft because He ain’t living in reality.

He broke the Sabbath laws to give a man rest from his disability by healing him. He spoke directly to demons and cast them out. He forgave a paralytic of his sins by simply saying he is forgiven. He hung out at the local sleaze bag’s house and broke bread with him and all his ilk. He chose a bunch ordinary biffs with dirt under their finger nails and profanity on their lips to be the new 12 sons of Israel! He was living in a whole other reality foreign to the gentiles and the experts in the Law! By all accounts He looked insane!

You see, the reality is that this world stinks, and that’s just how it is. The best we can do is make a car that drives itself and hold off a disease for a little while with some fancy medicine. The reality is that some people are just too far gone to be rescued, too far lost to be found, too deep in filth to be cleaned, too unholy to touch the hand of God. The reality is that some people just can’t be forgiven. The reality is that you get what you deserve. The reality is that dead men can’t rise and dead sinners can’t eat at God’s table.

The reality is painted all over the internet and on the T.V., acted out in our broken lives and gossiped about at our workplaces and bars.

Yet the fact is we are the ones who are insane! Like syphilis, sin does that to you. We are insane to call right wrong and wrong right. We are insane to think we are better than others or to think that somehow we deserve even a PB&J after a hard day’s labor. We are insane to think we can make things better or that somehow if we turn the right nobs or twist the right screws we can get it right.

But God’s more crazy then we are! Mark shows us a Jesus who comes crashing into our schizophrenic hallucination and pierces our darkness with His reality! His words and deeds are bright and they illumine our psychotic mess—but they also bathe us with total and complete forgiveness and promises of resurrection!

Out of His mind indeed, as He took our place between murderers and received the insults and torture of humanity. And yet He responded with stubborn silence until He uttered the words, “It is finished!”

Only an insane God would let sinners go totally free. Only a God out of His mind would give eternal life to those who once wanted Him dead. Yet that is the reality we live in today! I pray that the church you attend is out of her mind as well, calling sinners saints in the blood of Christ!

Rev. Joel Hess is the fortunate pastor at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Cadillac, MI, where God’s reality pierces through our illusions by His Word, flesh and blood and gentle waters.  He is the author of many half written projects; a talented musician and artist.  His contributions to the Jagged Word deal with the intersection of theology, culture and the arts.