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July 24, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, ‘He is out of his mind.’ And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, ‘He is possessed by Beelzebub! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons.’”—Mark 3:20–22 (NIV)
When in New York City, you’ll notice how curious human beings are. When all is normal during a commute or walking down the street, people keep moving. But when something good or bad is out of the ordinary, people begin to stop and notice. Whether it’s a sidewalk artist who’s working on her latest masterpiece on cement that looks as if it should be hanging in an art gallery, a performer singing a perfect duet with his dog and his guitar, or a preacher on a soapbox with a megaphone, crowds gather to watch and listen.
When Jesus walked on the earth, crowds gathered to watch and listen to Him, too.
Now remember, Jesus was fully God—with the ability to heal people and drive out demons—and also fully man. Don’t miss that the God of the Universe came down from heaven and had the same human feelings and experiences as you and me!
We see here that Jesus entered a home, likely with the intention of taking a moment to rest and enjoy a meal with his closest friends. After a busy week, you’ve probably made similar plans with your family or roommates! But “again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat.” I would’ve been so disappointed to miss that meal. Wouldn’t you?
Added to that, Jesus’ family thinks He’s going insane. They call Him “out of his mind.” We all have family drama. I’m just going to put it out there that Jesus did, too. Let this be an encouragement that it’s normal! But was Jesus a lunatic?
All of this commotion drew the attention of the Jewish teachers of the law. They traveled from the Holy City of Jerusalem to observe Jesus, and when they saw Him they declared He was possessed. This is curious to me. These leaders of the law knew the law so intimately, yet they couldn’t recognize that this Man, who had actually come to fulfill the law and to overthrow the prince of demons, was the Lord of all.
The Jews had hoped for a ruler to come and conquer the Roman government. Jesus came as their ruler, but not as they anticipated. He flipped societal norms upside down. He taught the opposite of what was expected. His ministry looked crazy. But He was and still is Lord. Even though Jesus experienced accusation from His family and the religious leaders, those both close to Him and far away, His rule as Lord continues through eternity.
No, Jesus was not a lunatic! If you’re finding yourself in a crowd and unsure of what or who to believe or follow, it would do you well to keep your attention fixed on Jesus, the author and perfecter of your faith.
PAUSE: What is capturing your attention these days? What is the crowd looking at and listening to? Is it a lunatic or the Lord?
PRACTICE: Instead of watching the news or scrolling through social media, try turning off the noise of the crowd and read your Bible or listen to worship music. You could spend time in prayer or meditating on your favorite Psalm. Invite the Lord to speak to you and sit in silence for a few minutes.
PRAY: Jesus, I thank You that You came down for me and endured accusation and suffering for me. Even though I may not fully understand Your ways and Your thoughts, I choose to surrender to You as the Lord of my life. Help me to choose intentionally to listen to You above the crowd. In Jesus name, Amen.
Denise Trio has been on staff with Calvary for almost two years, serving as the Director of Strategic Development. She has 10 years of project management experience, with a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture and Engingeering from Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA and a Master’s degree in Pastoral Counseling from Liberty University, Lynchburg, VA. When not on campus, Denise is either making her way through her book list at the beach, ordering tacos on any menu that serves them, or running her side business, The Rose Creative, which specializes in creating beautiful and meaningful products for her clients.