When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.” (Mark 3:21)

In his famous book Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis writes this: “A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic – on the level with a man who says he is a poached egg – or he would be the devil of hell.”

I vote poached egg. Oh, I for sure believe that he was the Son of God, the savior of the world, and a nifty spitter; but I also think the guy was just plain crazy too.

Insanity is generally defined as a mental disorder that makes a poor sod  incapable of managing his affairs or of conforming to social standards. Jesus fits that suit in spades. In the Gospel of Mark we read that on one occasion such a big crowd gathered around Jesus and his disciples that they were unable even to eat. Mark tells us that “when his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him” because they concluded, “He is out of his mind.” And they were the kind ones. The Jewish mucky mucks thought Jesus was renting out rooms to demons.

The gospels are packed with examples of Jesus upending respectable customs and traditions—from not washing his hands before eating to waiting on tables in the temple to doing body work on the Sabbath. He even claimed to be equal to the big Guy himself. Jesus was the poster boy for deviance from the norm. We can’t lay it all on him though. He no doubt inherited the wacko gene from his dad, the hand-wringingly bipolar God of the Old Testament. Crazy definitely seems to run in the family.

Nice uppity religious folks try to rescue Jesus from his craziness by washing him up, trimming his beard, and putting a clean robe on him. But even proper Englishman C. S. Lewis didn’t do that. Lewis figured that Jesus was either a lunatic or the Messiah. He figured that only the Son of God could put on that kind of crazy show and get away with it. Anybody else would have been locked away in a padded stable with some guy who thought he was a pomegranate.

Maybe that’s why us respectable Christians won’t actually live the way Jesus did. We prefer a savior with at least a little common sense. Who wants to follow a nutcase?


One Response

  1. Clearly you do.

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