The Radical Jesus
“. . . they were saying, . . .” Mark 3:21
There came a time in Jesus’ ministry when His family came to take charge of Him; literally to arrest Him, to forcibly take Him under control and bring Him back home to Nazareth. They said, “He’s nuts!!”
This accusation was from His own family, they thought He had lost His mind. So they came to take Him away. Why? Because they loved Him, because they were afraid His fervor would ruin His health, because they thought He was too radical; after all, why would someone leave the family business, oppose the religious powers of the day and gather a mismatched crew of followers around Him and live on the radical edge. His family thought it was okay to be devout, but not be extreme. It was good to pray, but to stay up and pray all night in the wilderness – such actions to them were sheer madness. These were the opinions of Christ’s family – those who loved Him.
This is how those who followed have been judged through the centuries. Festus’ response to Paul’s preaching was “You are out of your mind!” Those who have left everything to follow Him were labeled as crazy. But given the truth of Christ and the power of His gospel, to follow Him is the sanest thing anyone can do. Anything less than total commitment to Christ is crazy.
It’s a curious thing how we label people pursuits. For example, a guy spends his whole life making money and we say “He’s smart,” but if someone invests his time, talent and treasure in serving on the mission field, he gets labeled as a “fanatic.” Folks go to a football game and shout themselves hoarse. People say “Hey, they are true fans,” yet, let someone get enthused about Jesus and share Him with others and they say “He’s gone off the deep end.”
Many keep their life with Jesus at a safe distance because they don’t want to be considered weird. Often, the people we identify with in social circles and positions we hold at work, are the controlling power of our faith.
Are you more concerned with what others think about you than you are living for Jesus?