Summary: Christians need to be a little like Jesus crazy.;
Title: “He’s Out of His Mind!”
Text: Mark 3:20-35
Thesis: Christians need to be a little crazy.
Yesterday a mother of teenagers in our congregation posted on Facebook, “My kids are the reason I wake up each morning, the reason I breathe… and why my hair is falling out, my house is a mess and I’m crazy.”
A 26 year-old man made news this week for having quit his job as a marketing manager in Atlanta to travel the world giving high-fives to everyone he met. He made a promo video that is posted on YouTube (fitting for a marketing manager type) which portrays his venture as a celebration of life.
He saved his money for 3 years and bought a round trip ticket with 8-stops around the world… in the course of his 8-stops he visited 36 countries…
He jumped off the world’s highest bridge in France. He went on an African safari in Tanzania and swam in the ocean off Namibia. He swam with sharks. Hitchhiked. Slept in airports. He is now in New York deciding what his next adventure will be.
He had saved enough money to place a sizable down payment toward a mortgage on a home but he spent the money on a trip having fun and giving out high-fives. He certainly plays into a growing trend to spend your money on experiences rather than things which is a noble concept. But there is something inside me that screams, “He is crazy!” He could have a house!
At the other end of the spectrum is 91-year-old Walter Thomas who lives in suburban Chicago. One of the life-long dreams on his bucket list was to drive a car through a garage door. So on Wednesday of this past week he put on a motorcycle helmet and did it much to the delight of his family and friends who were watching. Later he said, “I hit the gas, squealed the tires and bang, we went through the door.” (Much to the delight of an area new garage door installer.) Again, something inside me screams, “He’s crazy!” What a waste and have you priced new garage doors lately?
Just a few days ago Bonnie and I were on ladders doing battle with our garage door… realigning pulleys and restringing cables and reattaching a majorly sized spring… all so we could keep the garage door people away as long as possible.
I hope you understand that I am well aware of the seriousness of mental illness and insanity. You may or people you love may suffer from mental illness and it is hurtful to imagine someone just off-handedly labeling you or your loved one as “crazy.”
However it is not uncommon for us to see someone doing something that we think is nuts or crazy. When we remark they are “crazy” we do not mean they are insane. It just means we think what they are doing is risky or silly or not well thought through or dumb or weird.
In our text today Jesus’ family was concerned about what they were hearing about him and came to take him away. Having come to “take him away” is a mild way of putting it. The actual language was they came to “seize” him. To seize means to lay hold of. One commentator suggests it is used in the same way as in “seizing a prisoner.”
When I was a teenager I remember I recall the family getting Grandpa into the backseat of my uncle’s car between two other uncles to make a trip to Clarinda, Iowa… the State Mental Hospital. He didn’t want to go but he went… Jesus’s mother and brothers had come to take him where he did not want to go.
The reason for “seizing” and taking him away is because they said, “he is beside himself.” Being beside himself means he was “out of his mind.” Some translation say Jesus was “mad.”
So it seems Jesus’ family thought he was in trouble and they came to take him home so he could get his head on straight again.
So this raises the question, “Why might Jesus’ family have thought he had run off the rails?”
I. Jesus was radically inclusive – strange behavior for the Jesus they knew.
One time Jesus entered a house, and the crowds began to gather… Mark 3:20-21
Jesus was 30 years-old. He did not suffer from what we call “failure to launch.” He had launched and that was likely one of the things that had his family in a dither. Jesus purportedly lived at home and had assumed Joseph’s carpentry business. He was a known, skilled and respected young man in town. And then he suddenly hangs up his carpenter’s apron, locks his shop and hits the road as an itinerant preacher.