Tuesday, October 11, 2022
“And the multitude cometh together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread. And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself” (Mark 3:20,21 KJV).
Who here is “beside himself?” Why has this designation been applied?
Apostate Israel, not Jesus Christ, is really the madman. So as to appreciate the depths of their spiritual lunacy, we consult the Apostle John that he inform us in chapter 8 of his Gospel Record: “ Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;  And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.  They [not the believers of verse 31, but the unbelieving Pharisees of verse 13] answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?”
Their answer was strange, to say the least! Whereas Jesus spoke of freeing people, some in His audience denied they were ever enslaved to anyone. Why this is utterly absurd is simple: they are in bondage to the Roman government at that very moment, with the Roman soldiers patrolling their land (Matthew 8:5; Luke 7:6), their taxes going to Roman emperors (Luke 2:1-5; Luke 3:1), their fear of losing their clout and position to aggravated Roman officials (John 11:47,48), and their political inability to carry out the death penalty unless they appeal first to the Roman Governor of Judaea (John 18:29-32).
Of course, however, these Jewish people would never admit how God had given them to Gentile dominion because of their national sins centuries prior (Daniel chapter 2). They were slaves to Rome because they were slaves to sin—and, to their eternal detriment, they overlooked both problems. Jesus announced to them, “Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do…” (John 8:43,44). It is offensive, yes, but it is true.
Let us see unbelieving Israel’s spiritual mental illness found elsewhere in Scripture….