Jesus said that in the same way he was treated when he was on this earth, so will we be treated, IF we follow HIM. He said that as they hated and persecuted him, so they will hate and persecute us (Matt. 5:10-12; Matt. 10:16-25; Matt. 24:9-14; Lu. 6:22; Lu. 21:12-17; Jn. 15:18-20; Jn. 17:14).
And who hated and persecuted him to death? His own people, of his own faith, of his own race, from his own town, and from his own family. And, the religious leaders and rulers in the temple of God did, too (to the death).
But, they didn’t just hate him. They didn’t just hound him continuously and try to trip him up with his words incessantly. And, they didn’t just accuse him falsely, and try to turn people against him, and try to discredit him. And, they didn’t just falsely arrest him, and give him a mock trial, and spit on him and mock him, and then beat him nearly to death before they hung him on a cross to die. But, they called him crazy. They called God crazy!
Then he went home, and the crowd gathered again, so that they could not even eat. And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for they were saying, “He is out of his mind.” Mk. 3:20-21 ESV
Have you ever had anyone call you crazy, not just kiddingly, but seriously? I have. It hurts. And, what was Jesus doing that was so crazy? He healed a man on the Sabbath. Yes, that was it. He healed someone. In fact, he had healed many people, and that is why the crowds were following him. And, he delivered people from demons, too. And, he called disciples to himself, and he sent them out to preach the gospel and to cast out demons, too.
And, then he went home, and the crowd that gathered around him was so large or so intrusive that he and his disciples could not even eat. And, so his family went to seize him – TO SEIZE HIM – for they were saying, “He is out of his mind!”
So, let me get this. He healed people. That’s a good thing. He cast demons out of people. That is a very good thing. He preached the Good News of salvation from sin – another very good thing! He fed hungry people. He raised the dead. He comforted the sorrowful. He had compassion on people. He cared about people and their needs and their pain and their sorrow. So, those are all wonderful qualities to have, are they not?
But, he was crazy, or so they said. Why? Because he wasn’t like them. That’s it! He was different. He didn’t do things the way they did. He was an embarrassment to them, too. Ah! Now, we are getting to the core of it all.
They were ashamed of him and his behavior because he didn’t follow the norms of society. He was a nonconformist. He stood out in a crowd. He didn’t “fit in.” He didn’t blend in. He didn’t play their games. He wasn’t worried about what people thought about him, either. Love ruled over all! He followed the rule of love despite what people thought of him, and despite how they treated him, and that is admirable, is it not?
So, He wasn’t crazy! He was just different. He was committed to God and to HIS service and to loving people above all else and to getting out the gospel message of salvation from sin so that many could be saved and have eternal life with God. But, that wasn’t “normal.” And, “not normal” was “bad.”
And, it isn’t normal in today’s modern market-driven church here in America, either. So, don’t be surprised if they call you crazy, too, if you are sold out to Jesus Christ to follow Him in his ways and to do what he calls each and every one of us to do. Because you will be going against the flow, and you will be an embarrassment to some others, too. And, maybe your own family will want to seize you, too, and to put you away. But, don’t be afraid of that. Just follow Jesus with your whole heart, and he will take care of you.
And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and “by the prince of demons he casts out the demons.” And he called them to him and said to them in parables, “How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but is coming to an end. Mk. 3:22-26 ESV
Ah, but they were not content with just insulting him by calling him “out of his mind,” but now they also accused him of being possessed by the devil, basically. That is even a much stronger accusation. Thus, they were accusing God the Son of being possessed by Satan because he was healing people. That sounds ridiculous, I know, but that is how Satan works. And, people buy into his lies by the thousands, and perhaps millions, too.
For, that is one of the accusations that Satan will throw against those who are sold out to Christ and who are making an impact in this world for Jesus Christ. He will accuse us of being crazy and of listening to Satan.
So, have you ever been accused of hearing from Satan and following after Satan when you were doing the things Jesus did? If not yet, don’t be surprised if it does happen. Because that is one of Satan’s tactics to try to discredit the Lord’s servants and messengers in order to try to silence them. Because he does not want the gospel spreading.
But, when accused, we can use Jesus’ rebuttal. Satan cannot drive out Satan. The flesh can’t drive out the flesh, either. Satan is not going to work counterproductive to what he is trying to accomplish.
But, oh, this is where deception comes into play. For, some will argue, well then Satan would not be trying to convince them that Jesus saved them from their sins and that their sins are forgiven and that they are bound for heaven.
Don’t fall for that one! For, YES, Satan would absolutely want to convince those who are still living for the flesh, still in bondage to sin, who are living in open rebellion against God, doing whatever evil their evil hearts desire, that they are saved and going to heaven. And, that is because he knows that is a lie that is going to send them straight to hell.
And his mother and his brothers came, and standing outside they sent to him and called him. And a crowd was sitting around him, and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers are outside, seeking you.” And he answered them, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” And looking about at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.” Mk. 3:31-35 ESV
Now, I find this very comforting. For, we are going to have people in this life, even those who call themselves Christians, and even people from our own families, and from our own church congregations, who are going to think we are out of our minds for following Jesus with our lives wholeheartedly. For, if we do and say the kinds of things that Jesus said and did, they will definitely think we are nuts, or some of them will.
But, where humans reject us, or misunderstand us, or accuse us falsely or call us names, or even say we are “nuts” or that we are listening to Satan, we can be comforted in knowing that we are Jesus’ family.
For, if we are truly doing the will of God, as is taught in scripture, then we are children of God, and Jesus is our brother and he is our Lord. And, we can be comforted, too, that we are not alone, for they said the same things about God, about Jesus Christ, and about Paul the Apostle, and about the prophets before them, that they were crazy.
So, don’t be afraid of what people are going to say about you. And, don’t be afraid of what they might do to you. For, our God is still in control. He is still on the throne. Nothing can thwart his purposes. His perfect will will prevail! His Word will endure. He can’t be stopped!! And, he will carry us through to the very end. We just have to trust him with our lives and with our reputations, too, and trust him to give us the words to say or the wisdom to know when to remain silent when the enemy accuses us falsely.
The Spirit Calling
An Original Work / November 12, 2019
Hear the Spirit calling.
He’ll keep you from falling.
Tenderly He’s calling,
“Come and follow Him.”
Walk with Jesus daily.
Don’t give in to lazy.
Folks may call you crazy.
Fellowship with Him.
Follow where He leads you.
Eat what Jesus feeds you.
His love will renew you
If you follow Him.
Do what Jesus tells you.
Don’t let your faith fail you.
His love will avail you
If you walk with Him.
Jesus, Lord and Savior,
Reigneth now forever.
He gave us His favor
So we’d live with Him.
Turning now from our sin,
Holy Spirit live-in.
Holiness we walk in,
Purified by Him.
Wednesday, November 20, 2019