LENT: RADICAL

Mark 3

Jesus’ own family thought He was crazy. Gone mad, some might say. As I️ read today’s text, it did make me chuckle. So indulge me for a bit.

Preposterous Claims

Place yourself back in the time of antiquity, without the context of what’s to come next. Imagine growing up in the home of Jesus. He is your son. Your sibling. Your next-of-kin. And one day you awaken to hear absurdities coming forth from his lips.

Healings take place.

The religious leaders questioned.

Not to mention, twelve apostles are called by name.

But you know Him…you were raised with Him. Why you changed His diaper a time or two. How could it possibly be that He is the Messiah? A carpenter? A small-town boy, could it be?

Yet throngs of people are pressing in. And there’s a lot of talk about miracles going around.

King of Kings? Lord of Lords?

Surely, it could not be.

A secret plot of his assassination was already underway. It is time that we, his family members, step in to save face. Let’s hurry along and grab Him quick before He makes a fool of us too. If we act quickly surely we can cover our tracks, and sweep this under the rug.

Then he [Jesus] went home, and the crowd gathered again, so that they could not even eat. And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for they were saying, “He is out of his mind.” Mark 3: 20-21

I️ can only imagine how Jesus and his family quickly became the talk of the town. The words Jesus uttered indeed were crazy, and there was no way anyone could shut Him down.

The Feeling of Crazy

Amid our absurdity with the lack of toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and face masks…the verse takes on fresh meaning. As we are isolated in our own homes and scrolling through Instagram…don’t make me put in one more puzzle piece. Homeschool is not going well, there’s plenty of reasons this is not my full-time profession. The family is tired of my home-cooking, and the neighborhood walking trail is growing mundane. I️ think many of us would agree, “I️ am going to lose my mind.”

Now hold that feeling for a moment…this is exactly how Jesus’ family felt.

Their dreams and expectations were funneling down the drain. Reputations ruined. They were afraid that their names would be scorned. How would they walk outside? What would others think and say?

Because when we face the facts–the things Jesus said were revolutionary!

Things like “Do not be anxious” (Luke 12:22-26) when the world seems so uncertain. “Peace, peace, I️ freely give” (John 14:27) when the stock market roller coasts. “I️ am the bread of life” (Jn 6:35); however, we’re not sure H-E-B will have flour and yeast. “I️ am the way, the truth, and the life” (Jn 14:6) in extreme adversity. “You are not of this world”, but I’m pretty sure, my feet are on planet Earth. “My yoke is easy and my burden light”, albeit, covid-19 seems pretty tough.

Radical Christianity

You see, if we are going to live by faith, not by sight, this world will think we are crazy. It doesn’t make any sense to be peaceful, patient, loving, kind, forgiving, gentle, full-of-joy kind-of-people..especially today with all that is going on. Being a Christ-follower is like living in the contra-flow lane, and let me tell you something, this world needs you!

So as crazy as it might seem to be a Jesus-loving, radically-generous, peace-talking person right now, I️ want to challenge you to walk by faith, not by sight. Let this world see just how crazy awesome Christianity can be!

Mass movements of people don’t follow a crazy man. There is only one reason such words ever gained historical traction: Jesus’s tomb was empty that first Easter Sunday morning. Too many people personally witnessed him alive (1 Corinthians 15:6), too many of them paid with their lives for claiming to have witnessed him alive, and too many people throughout history have encountered Jesus as a real, living presence and power, and found eternal life in his words (John 6:68). —Jon Bloom, Desiring God

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for your radical love for us! May we show your crazy, undeserved love to this lost & broken world. Use us, Lord, to be your hands and feet. Amen.