Are you out of your mind?
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.” NIV
Many accusations were hurled against Jesus during His earthly ministry – they said that He was possessed by the prince of demons, that He cast out demons by the power of Satan. And perhaps the unkindest cut of all, even his family concluded that He was insane.
2000 years later they are still accusing Him of all manner of things, still challenging His divinity, His identity, His motives.
And what was His offense? That He dared stand for God, that He dared to cut through the traditions and rituals and declare the love of the Father? That He dared to confront the human condition?
Repeatedly the Gospel writers wrote that He went everywhere preaching, teaching and healing. He was up early and spent His whole day ministering to the people because He had compassion for them. His only ‘crime’ was that He was so passionate for the things of God that nothing else mattered to Him, not life or position or popularity or the favor of men.
The world has always considered such passion and devotion to God as madness, as fanaticism. It makes them uncomfortable. It reminds them of things they’d rather not reflect upon. The world wants us to be “reasonable” in our beliefs, “moderate” in our faith, “dispassionate” in our devotion to God. They don’t mind when we go to extreme lengths to display our support for a sports team or a band of musicians but they get disgusted when we get excited about God.
It reminds me of an account I read of John Sung, a great man of God from China who lived in the early part of the last century. John, the son of a Methodist minister, was converted as a young boy. At the age of 19 he was sent to America to study. Within five years he earned three degrees including a doctorate in philosophy. He was hailed as a brilliant young man. But he soon realized that his academic achievements had only led him further from the Lord and he was backsliding. He repented and recommitted his life to God. He was soon filled with a great passion for God and immediately began preaching to all his friends and even to his professors. So drastic was the change in his behavior that he soon found himself being committed to a lunatic asylum by the seminary authorities! For more than six months he was confined to the asylum with only his Bible. During that time he read the Bible 40 times from cover to cover. And he spent hours in prayer. When he later returned to China, he became part of one of the greatest revivals China had ever known.
I don’t know about you but I want that kind of madness, that kind of utter devotion to this God we serve. Surely we have not loved Him with the kind of fiery passion and devotion that He deserves. When was it last said of us that we are “out of our mind” for God? That kind of madness surely thrills the heart of God. That kind of madness makes us men and women after Jesus’ own heart. Being called “insane” by the world because of our passion and devotion to God is surely music to the ears of God. To the world, we are out of our minds but to God we have the mind of Christ! It is a badge of honor not a badge of shame.
Holy Spirit, I am asking you today to fill the hearts of all who are hungry for more of you with new passion for the Son of God. Give us a heart to love Jesus with utter abandon, with utter devotion, with insane intensity. Holy Spirit, help us to turn the world to God by our “madness” for Jesus. Let revival come Jesus out of our “madness” for you.