Tuesday, February 2, 2010
2/2/10 Mark 3:20-30 Jesus is crazy?
20 Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. 21 When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, "He is out of his mind." 22 And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, "He is possessed by Beelzebul! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons." 23 So Jesus called them over to him and began to speak to them in parables: "How can Satan drive out Satan? 24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. 26 And if Satan opposes himself and is divided, he cannot stand; his end has come. 27 In fact, no one can enter a strong man's house without first tying him up. Then he can plunder the strong man's house. 28 Truly I tell you, people will be forgiven all their sins and all the blasphemies they utter. 29 But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven, but is guilty of an eternal sin." 30 He said this because they were saying, "He has an evil spirit."
Calvin abridged: Mark skips a long period of time when he passes from the miracles to that wicked conspiracy which the relatives of Christ formed with each other- to bind him as if he were a madman. It is unusual that such wickedness should be found among Christ’s relatives who should have been the first to help him. When Christ gains a following later, they actually encourage him to go to Jerusalem so that people could see his work and admire him (Jn 7:3,4). But now they see that some of the rulers despise him, many others slander him, and a great many people do not like what he is saying. So they, in order to protect the reputation of their whole family, they seek to bind him. Here we see how great the human mind is blinded by the judgments it forms when the glory of God displayed. Since Christ’s work does not please the world, we should not be surprised at the world’s resentment to it. We also should learn from this that the light of faith does not come from our own flesh and blood- but solely from Christ’s grace.
Thoughts: I still remember the reporter on NPR last year who inferred that President Bush was a little crazy to believe that God “called him” to be president (though just about every other president- including Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Reagan, and yes- Obama believes God led them into office). To the world, to think that there is an invisible God who interacts with (much less cares about) people is just crazy. The world believes only in what can be duplicated, in what is probable, in what occurs over and over and they experience with their senses. Basically, if it is not usual, if we cannot see or touch it at will, then we think someone is crazy who believes. Jesus not only believed a little bit. For him the spiritual reality was seen so clearly, and the rest of us were blinded and doubted it. Because he believed so strongly, some thought he was crazy or possessed by the devil. But in reality, to think that all around us is created solely by chance, to call the clear answers to pray coincidences, to ruin our lives and those around us with self-centeredness, to deny a miracle witnessed to by thousands- or even millions (like the resurrection)-because we can’t see it today or duplicate it with our own silly abilities- then we are a little crazy. To shut our ears and eyes to God’s presence and love shows that we are under the influence of evil. To call what is good and moral evil and to call what is evil good shows that we are blinded. For example, yesterday the American armed forces voted to have a worship area (at the Air Force Academy) dedicated to wicca and to druid worship (in the name of freedom) as it this is a good thing. To say that the act of homosexuality is healthy and good and would not distract from our armed forces, is another example. It should be clear from diseases contracted by homosexuality, and simply from the fact that the practice of homosexuality does not fit in with creation physically or produce children that it is wrong. But we insist in our culture that because some people practice something, it is therefore right no matter what the Bible (in Old and New Testaments- Lev 18:22; Rom 1:26-28) or even what almost every other culture says. If everyone was immoral, would that make the moral people crazy? In Jesus day this happened. In our own day it is happening as well. Truth is, Jesus is the sane one and sanity and what is normal is defined by creation and by Him.
Prayer: Though the world disagrees with what you have said, help me to stay faithful to you. If the “normal” of the world is evil, then keep me, Lord, from wanting to be normal. Help me to see that I am called to be sensitive to all, but I am created and re-created to please only you.