Insane for God’s Word

Mark 3: 20-21
2Sam 1: 1-4,11-12,19,23-27 / Ps 80

When His relatives heard of this they set out to seize Him, for they said, ‘He is out of His mind.’
(Mark 3:21)

In times when men do not comprehend
When we are bold to speak of God’s Word,
Have faith, the Holy Spirit will send
The wisdom that comes as our reward.

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.” (Mark 3: 20-21)

Reflection

The Gospel reading for today is one of the shortest in the Bible, but it gives us a clear picture about the difficulties that our Lord had to face in His ministry. Being omniscient, Jesus knew that His words would be read by Christians of all generations, and would be understood that they are related to the scriptures of the Old Testament as well as to the teachings of the Church in modern times. The problem was that His words could hardly be understood by His own generation. The scribes even said, “He is possessed by Beelzebul” (Mk.3:22). It didn’t help that He always taught the crowds in parables, which to the unlearned mind must have sounded like words of an insane man. Worst of all, He was going around with rag-tag followers (like Simon, a known rebel, Judas Iscariot, a man of dubious origins, a tax collector, and some fishermen) who would surely get Him into trouble, if not with the religious leaders, then with the Roman military authorities. His relatives had become concerned when the scribes and Pharisees questioned the new teachings that He was propounding, especially in the observance of the Sabbath and other traditional forms of worship. He kept ministering to hordes of people, even if this was preventing Him from taking care of His own needs, going hungry in the process of giving service to the sick. They then decided that He had to be taken care of.

We can see how difficult it is to follow the footsteps of our Lord in the ministry of the Word. He was rejected by His own hometown when He went home to preach and to heal the sick. He was, after all, only the son of a poor carpenter. Where did He get the authority to stand up in the synagogues and teach? Despite all the miracles that He performed early on, His own relatives were the first to doubt His sanity.

We too will experience the doubts, or even ridicule of our own friends and relatives when we speak out for the Lord, especially if we are new members or converts into the renewal. They may question our sincerity or sanity, incredulous about what we are saying when they first hear us proclaim the Word of God.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus sets the example for us not to allow hunger, fear, doubts or ridicule to get in the way of serving His kingdom. The work before us is so important that the judgment of others about our behavior bears little significance in the light of God’s approval.

Lord Jesus, in today’s Gospel You teach us in so little words the big mission that is laid out for us to accomplish. Help us, dear Savior, in times of our anxieties, doubts and fear of shame, to stand up for Your Word, even if it will make us appear ridiculous in front of our peers. Make us bold in the Spirit, Lord, that we may fearlessly proclaim Your Word. Amen.

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