A “Madman” is in our midst!!
“And when his friends had heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him. For they said: He is become mad.” Mark 3:21 Douay-Rheims
“…He is out of His mind!” ISV & NIV & Darby
“…He has lost His senses.” NASB
“…He is beside Himself.” KJV
“…He is insane!” WEB
“…He has lost his marbles and has gone completely off the deep end.” Robert Hammond’s NOT-word-for-word Translation (NWWT) 🙂
I think it’s fair enough to say that they thought He had lost it all mentally speaking. Let’s lay the setting of 2,000 years ago: here is this Man, a Man they had known and had watched grow up among them for 30 years casting out devils, saying things that were out of this world and mind-blowing, stirring up trouble everywhere He went, causing offences everywhere, not caring what you thought of Him. He had just named the 12 apostles (Mark 3:14-19a), and then had gone home to His own house (Mark 3:19b Greek New Testament). Now His own family comes to seize Him and take Him away. This was not His mother or his brothers, because they come later on in Mark 3:31-34 desiring to see Him. This word “friends” means other relatives and companions/neighbors.
They thought He was deranged. I mean really, who does this Guy think He is claiming to be the Son of God, the Messiah, the Coming One? He needs to be in a loony-bin or at the very least take a good long nap and talk to a doctor. Maybe Luke the beloved physician was close at hand and ready to examine him 🙂
You see, when He came on the scene, heaven came down and backed up everything He said and everything He did. Heaven came down, and hell moved over. He walked in so much power that no one could refute His words or His deeds. He said things that had never been heard before; and we will look at a few of these things today to get the truth across that He is still saying wild, confrontational, and offensive things. And depending on how you take His words, it will show you where your heart, treasure, and mind really are.
I find it interesting that in Luke 4:22 after He had read the passages from Isaiah 61, it is written, “So all…marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth.” You see, they loved hearing the words of the Bible and the beautiful poetic feeling it gave them, but when it came time to apply its truths to them personally everything changed in a moment. For we read just a few verses later in verse 28, “So all (every person at church including the attending Rabbi) those in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, and rose up and thrust Him out of the city; and led Him to the brow of the hill, that they might throw Him down (murder Him) over the cliff.” I find it interesting that after he read the passages He said, “Today these things are fulfilled in your ears.” It’s all about the hearing. If you’re blind, I can lead you by my voice to a chair. But if your blind and deaf, there is no hope of leading you by my voice across the room to a chair.
Ahhhhh…wait a minute! I’m confused here. Did I miss something? Less than 30 seconds earlier they were marveling at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth and now every single person is in the very process of committing cold-blooded murder!!! What happened here?
I’ll tell you what happened…the same thing that is happening today, this very moment. He read the word of God to them and they loved it. But as soon as He made it apply to them personally they turned on Him in less than 30 seconds to kill Him and shut Him up. He had touched the sin in their lives, He had touched their consciences. And when you touch a man’s conscience, you had better be prepared.
When I went into the jail last Wednesday to minister, I was asked if I would go into the Pod (the actual living quarters of the inmates and speak to them). During the second service the Spirit of God came upon me and I gave them the truth with full power. I told them they were monsters of iniquity that deserved hell as they were shunning and laughing at God’s grace, God’s Son, and God’s patience. You could have heard a pin drop, and oh the looks I received!! But one man sat on the very edge of his chair with his head forward looking at me very intently and hanging on every word as the Gospel came forth from my heart for a solid hour without so much as a breath it seemed. Their consciences were touched and they didn’t know what to do or what to say. They finally saw themselves in the light of God’s word, falling very short…and the Holy Spirit put a demand upon them (and then of course I followed it up with the Gospel of Christ and His saving grace, forgiveness, and free gift…if they really believed).
There will always be those who want to hear. You see…if you will notice in the above mentioned text of Luke 4:28 it was “when they heard these things.” You ministers out there today reading this must begin to put a draw on men’s consciences. If you will do this, the results will be unprecedented. In June of 1990, I was asked to go and minister to a man who hated God. A very educated man. A very big man. His wife had requested this and had been praying for him for 17 years. On the way over there God told me to not tell him about Christ (as he had shunned 2 other men before me who had tried in vain to present the gospel to him.) I won’t tell you what God told me to tell him, because you wouldn’t believe it. At the end of the evening though, this man was so broken before God that it took me 15 minutes to get him calmed down enough to even lead him to Christ. You see, I told him something that caused him to struggle, it caused him to be offended at the cross, it caused him to stumble, it touched his conscience. It brought him to a timeless decision in an eternal moment. For the issues of eternity are settled in time.
Jesus was always addressing the heart and you will remember from an earlier teaching what the heart is. It is all three parts of the soul (mind, will, and emotions) and one part of the spirit (which comprises the conscience, communion, and intuition). The most important part of the spirit though is the conscience; and the heart comprises the mind, will, emotions, and conscience. See my teaching entitled “Issues of the Heart part 1” for further instruction concerning this.
Jesus was such a radical. I love Keith Green’s definition of a radical, “someone who just loves God more than you do.” He didn’t tell men what they wanted to hear, He told them what they needed to hear. You have to put a draw on a man’s conscience. His heart has to be pricked with the tip of the “sword.” Why? So that you and he can both find out what he’s really made of deep down on the inside. Let’s find out what comes out. Because what comes out will tell you all about the man, his heart, his convictions, his motives, his living.
Let’s look at John 6. Here we see Him feeding the 5,000. He walks across the sea, gets in the boat and ends up at His home town of Capernaum where the same people who He just fed the day before (John 6:22) came up to Him in v.25 and said, “Rabbi, when did you come here?” Notice what they called Him…”Rabbi.” Remind you of someone else who never called Jesus “Lord” or Master”? How about Judas?
He was still only a teacher to them who had fed them miraculously across the sea. The very moment He begins to tell them of the spiritual bread that came down from heaven and that they would have to eat Him (which just simply means to believe on Him and in Him) and to drink His blood (which just simply means to commune with Him, because the life is not only in the vine it is in the blood according to Leviticus). It is written, “The Jews then complained about Him” v.41, then they “quarreled among themselves” about His sayings v.52. “Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” Greek New Testament of v.60
We know that they were offended because the Lord said, “Does this offend you?” And the rest of the story is that many of them went away and walked with Him no more. Only the 12 remained: See John 6:66. He put a demand on them to show their hearts’ condition to themselves and to Him. Remember the rich man who came to Jesus? And the Lord did what? He touched the rich mans conscience concerning his possessions, and he went away sorrowful.
Let’s move on to John 8:30-31: “As He spoke these words, many believed in Him. Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him (the same ones just mentioned in the previous verse), If you abide in My word, you are my disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” There it is!! There it is!! As soon as He talks about “abiding in His word” and “knowing the truth to be made free” they are immediately offended and say in verse 48 that Jesus has a demon and by the end of the chapter they’re picking up stones to kill Him.
Are you seeing a pattern here? He speaks the word of God to them to touch their conscience and the truth of who they really are deep on the inside comes out. Jesus did this on purpose and He is still doing it today on purpose to expose our motives, our thoughts, and out intents.
It’s funny…I do this all the time now. I’ll be teaching at a church and giving the word. And people love to hear the words of the bible and there are “Amen’s” everywhere. But as soon as I step in front of a man and address him personally as to his own heart’s condition before God and I make it personal to him/her, I get looks and stares that could strike a man down. They are offended. They say, “who do you think you are?” Sound familiar? John 8:53, “Who do you think you are?” they said to Jesus. You see, God is trying to reach them. Paul said that Christ is in us pleading with you to be reconciled to God.
The days of just getting up and talking about how God made the leaves are over. God is raising up men again who aren’t afraid to tell it like it is, and if you want to leave the church and take your money with you…well then let me help you get your coat and hardly-read bible, and hold the door open for you. People get offended for two reasons: 1) they are not mature enough yet to receive deeper truths and the Lord will minister to these, 2) people’s consciences have been touched and God has brought them to a decision. Jesus always brought people to make a decision in a moment. He didn’t consume Himself with the fact that you may or may not believe Him. Last time I read John 6, I didn’t see Him running after those who left saying, “Wait! Please wait!! I didn’t mean what I said, I’m sorry. Let Me say it a different way, give Me another chance to make it more palatable and politically correct–presentable. I wasn’t thinking about what I said, please come back, I’ll be a good boy and I won’t say anything to offend you or cause you to stumble.” I DON’T THINK SO!! Not today!!
Everything He said, He said with conviction and power knowing that the souls of men were hanging in the balance. We don’t have time to sugarcoat the truth. I’m not going to make it more palatable for you to receive or digest. I don’t have time to explain every word I say. I speak the word of God and you can take it or leave it. I’m obeying God and not man. My days of worrying about if I offended someone are over!! They said to the Lord in Matthew 15:12, “Do you know that You offended the Pharisees by what You said to them?” What was His reply? “Let them alone, they are blind leaders of the blind…”
Yes, there are Pharisees, Sadducees, Lawyers, Scribes, and Herodians in every church. Pay them no mind. They are the tares that have been sown among the wheat. God will deal with them in His own time. “Let them alone.” Many will see you just as they saw Jesus in Mark 6:3. They’ll just see you as the carpenter, or construction worker, or businessman, or housewife, or whatever. Many (most actually) will not be able to see past the outer shell. They can only see your humanity; they cannot see the divinity in you. Let this not concern you. Teach the word. Be instant in season and out of season (when it’s popular and when it’s not so popular). Hold on to the word. Get yourself absolutely anchored in the word. Let the word of God enter you; for it’s the entrance of His word that brings light (Psalm 119:130). Continue to speak the word. Be not afraid. Fear Him whom you are answerable to in that great and awesome day when rebukes and rewards are handed down and handed out.
Let God’s word touch your heart again. Let His word touch your conscience. Behold, He makes all things new…if you’ll repent and believe in Him again like you once did. Being offended and made to stumble by the Lord or His word is a good thing. It’s a God thing. It’s a healthy thing to fall upon the Rock and be broken rather than to let the Rock fall on you and crush you to powder (Matthew 21:44). God has been speaking to you today about certain things (just as He does to me also) and we all have a choice as to what we will do with His correction, His rebuke, and His discipline. We can take it like a mature son in humility before Him and learn from Him or we can buck against Him and harden our hearts and refuse Him. Refusing His word is the same thing as refusing Him. Not abiding in His word is the same as not abiding in the vine. Not abiding in the vine is the same as not abiding in Him. And He said that if His word(s) does not abide in you then you are not His disciple. Take it up with Him.
The time is short brethren and it is a time to be getting very serious about His kingdom, His Son, and His purposes in the earth. It is a time to examine every part of your life and see if it really measures up to the benchmark of God’s word.
Now here’s the million-dollar question: are you a “Madman” for Him? Does His life really mean something to you? How committed are you really to these things? Things that men and women, and even children down through the ages have given their life for. How serious are you really about His sacrifice? Is the Savior not worthy to receive the fruit of His suffering from your life…from your living. If He really means to you what he meant to Paul, Timothy, Peter, Antipas, and a million other sold-old Christians, then you will give it all. You will give it all!! You will walk away from every single thing that hinders you and weighs you down and that offends Him, disappoints Him, and that which hurts His feelings. I tried to share these things with a brother at the QT this morning as I got my coffee and I was too choked up and had to leave; and when I got in my truck I wept like a baby. He has finally brought me to the place where I understand the commitment these men gave. My little heart has finally been enlarged enough to receive these truths. Truths that changed history, truths that changed lives. Today, I’m a radical, I’m a fanatic, and I’m a “madman” right along with Him. I don’t care what anyone else thinks or says or does. I’ve seen eternity, I’ve seen the truth, and nothing can take that away.
I hope you can see what I’ve seen in His word. Because when you do, it will affect every area of your life. Your wife (or husband) will say the same thing to you that Mary Ann has said to me: “I don’t even recognize you any more Robert, but I want what you have!!” My reply to you is the same as His was to His disciples: “You know the way.” Each man really knows how to get there.
“No man having drunk old wine immediately desires the new, for he says the old is better.” Luke 5:39. The new wine is His word fermenting in new hearts. You see, your heart is the wineskin. David called his heart a wineskin in Psalm 119:83, Job called his belly (his heart) a wineskin in Job 32:19. Come away from the old wine, and drink of the new wine that He has just made in abundance. Why do you think Him turning the water into wine was His fist miracle in John 2:11? Because it all starts with the new wine trying to get into new wineskins. May He give you wisdom in this and reveal Himself to you in the barrel of wine. All He’s asking you to do is to draw of the water and it will become wine. Can you believe that?
See you on the front lines…hopefully. Because if I do, then I’ll see you at the wedding feast of Cana where He made the water become wine.