I love how reading the Bible puts a whole new perspective on life. Verse 21 tells us that Jesus’ family thought he was out of His mind. I remember reading this several years ago and thinking that was crazy; Jesus was the Son of God and they should be falling at His feet. When I read verses 21-22 again yesterday, I came away with an entirely different story. All my life I had some delusional idea that Jesus grew up in a happy household void of conflict. If I look closely these verses tell me a different story.
20 Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. 21 When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.”
22 And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebul! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons.”
Jesus’ family thought he was a stark raving lunatic and needed to keep him under control, lock him up. The teachers of the law thought he was possessed. These opinions didn’t happen overnight; they take a lifetime to develop. Take a look:
- Jesus was an outcast in his own family, community, and synagogue.
- Jesus knew what it was like to be ridiculed.
- Jesus knew what it felt like to be bullied.
- Jesus knew what it was like when no one believed in him.
- Jesus knew what it was like to be adopted.
- Jesus knew what it was like to have step-siblings.
- Jesus knew what it was like to look into his mother’s eyes and see great disappointment because he was not the child she thought he should or would be.
- The life Jesus lived was all but fair.
I could go on about all the things Jesus experienced, but I want to talk about the choices Jesus made in the face of negativity. Jesus made the choice to believe without a doubt that His identity came from God. He chose to love those who hurt him, rejected him and hated him. Jesus chose to follow His heavenly Father and complete the work His Father sent Him to do.
At one time in my life, I thought that Jesus’ life was a peaceful stroll in the park. I still do, but now I can see there were muggings along the way. I have to ask myself: If Jesus was mugged on His walk in the park, what makes me think that I would have a peaceful stroll through the tulips in life?