Wednesday, December 13, 2017

It's Good to Be Crazy

For me, one of the most intriguing passages in the Gospel of Mark is Mark 3:21. Jesus has begun his ministry. He has been healing the sick, restoring the paralyzed, and teaching. The crowds are gathering around him in numbers so great that Jesus and his disciples have trouble eating. Then in verse 21, we're told  that when his family heard this, they set out to restrain him, because they said, He's out of His mind" (HCSB). Jesus had been doing some amazing, incredible, miraculous things, but those who knew him best just didn't seem to understand. They thought he was crazy. Jesus had been doing miracles for anyone and everyone to see and his family thought he was out of his mind!

To the outside world, much of what we do as Christians is hard to comprehend, even when the miraculous is staring them in the face. Even when those around us can see the changes Christ has accomplished in our lives, how we have been provided for in the midst of impossible situations, how healing and wholeness has been restored and marriages have been healed, they can still look at us and say we are crazy. Our lives don't fit parameters that they understand and they don't know how to react. I have family members on both sides of my family who have been practically disowned because of their relationships with Christ. I have met young women whose families have kicked them out and cut them off, who were forced to live in the church building itself, because their families could not fathom their decision to follow Christ.

But I have also seen those same family members who accused their Christian relatives of being crazy finally come to a place of understanding. I have watched when that "crazy" lifestyle was lived out long enough and consistently enough that charges of insanity became confessions of conviction.  A perfect example is Jesus' family itself. When Jesus' family came to get him and his mother and brothers stood outside ready to take charge of him (Mark 3:31), Jesus could see the day when his family would finally believe; his brother James would become the leader of the Church in Jerusalem, while his brother Jude would go on to write a letter that would be included in our Bible.

In the middle of the strained relationship, it may be tempting to give into despair because people simply don't understand. Your sense of hope may be dwindling that these people you care so much about will ever understand. But don't give up. Continue to pray for them, to love them, and to live the consistent life of a Jesus-follower. People may think you are crazy now, but they thought the same about Jesus.

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