When Jesus came into a house, many people gathered around Him again. Jesus and His followers could not even eat. When His family heard of it, they went to take Him. They said, “He must be crazy.” – Mark 3:20-21 NKJV.
Now as he thus made his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, “Paul, you are beside yourself! Much learning is driving you mad!” – Acts 26:24 NKJV. (driving you insane – NIV; crazy – NLV; mad – KJV – “mad” coming from Greek work mania)
At a popular tourist spot on a river in Alaska where grizzly bears can be seen feeding on fish, a man suddenly appeared in a complete bear outfit. Not only did the man appear, but he ran toward a grizzly and her two cubs, jumping up and down. There were differing reports as to whether the man approached on two feet or four. The grizzly man came within ten feet of the cubs before a wildlife worker took action to scare the actual grizzly and cubs away by shouting. Carl Koch, the wildlife biologist, said “As you can imagine, that’s a really dangerous thing for the guy to do.” What did the grizzly man do? He walked back to his car, got in, and drove away without removing his costume. The incident took place about 500 miles east of Anchorage. (Reuters 08.14.15; CBS Seattle 08.17.15)
Most of us know crazy when we see it. A man running at a grizzly mother bear with cubs in a bear suit jumping up and down would get you committed to a mental institution for observation in most states. Maybe not in Alaska, but most states. Did the man want to commit suicide by bear? Did he want to gain fame? Or, was he just mentally unbalanced i.e. crazy? I think most of us would go with crazy, as in insane!
As Jesus went about doing good and teaching, not only did Jewish leaders think he was crazy, but his own family, relatives, friends, and everyone in his hometown thought he was crazy. The apostle Paul encountered the same kind of thing. As Paul gave his defense before King Agrippa and Governor Festus, Festus thinks the great learning of Paul has driven him insane. Paul is simply sharing his testimony of the hope he and the Jewish people have in the resurrection of the dead, and of how Jesus had worked in his life. The recounting of how the crucified and resurrected Jesus encountered Paul on the road to Damascus may have been a bit much for Festus to swallow.
Jesus and the apostle Paul were both called crazy for proclaiming God’s truth and actually living it. What about you and me? Has anyone ever accused us of being crazy for being on fire for God? Are you insanely crazy for Jesus? If not, why not? What has happened to your fire? Has the cares of this world choked out your fervor? Throw off the chains of this world, and let’s all go crazy for Jesus!