Thou Art Beside Thyself! (To God’s Glory)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

“And as he thus spake for himself, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad” (Acts 26:24 KJV).

Saints, we are privileged to be called “crazy Christians.” To the world, we are “nuts.” In the context of today’s Scripture (Acts chapter 26), Paul is giving his testimony to King Agrippa. God’s wisdom is always foolishness with lost men, so Festus, Roman governor of Judaea, replies, “Paul, you are mad [crazy]!”

The world’s intelligentsia is skilled in the wisdom of men. These puffed-up individuals consider God’s Word “foolishness.” “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18). The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 2:14: “The natural man [the lost, unsaved man] receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him:”

Paul preached the wisdom of God’s Word to the “brilliant” philosophers of Athens. These lost individuals considered Paul’s preaching as nothing more than hearsay and folly, so they called Paul a “babbler” (Acts 17:16-21). Interestingly, followers of John Wycliff, who translated the first English Bible in the late 1300s, were affectionately termed “the Lollards” (“the babblers!”).

The Lord Jesus told His Jewish disciples: “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you” (Matthew 5:11,12; cf. Luke 6:22,23).

God’s Word says in 2 Corinthians 5:13: “For whether we be beside ourselves, it is to God: or whether we be sober, it is for your cause.” If we are crazy for being Christians, “it is to [the glory of] God!” We must continue, and faint not when individuals call us “crazy.” In the end, the Good Book says it will be worth it (1 Corinthians 15:58; Galatians 6:9).