Wednesday, October 12, 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?
Read Luke 6:6-11 in your own Bible. When religious, but lost, Israel watched Christ heal a man’s right hand that was “withered” (deformed, dry, lacking bodily fluids, shrunken), they responded negatively because it was the Sabbath Day. The rabbis taught that medical aid was not to be rendered on the Sabbath unless for life-threatening conditions. In their confused minds, Jesus should have healed that crippled hand the day prior or day after. Verse 11: “And they were filled with madness [lunacy/craziness]; and communed one with another what they might do to Jesus.” Instead of connecting this Sabbath miracle with the Sabbath rest of God’s future earthly kingdom—thereby failing to appreciate this miracle that validated the Gospel of the Kingdom—they plan Christ’s murder (Matthew 12:14; Mark 3:6)!
As Jesus is nailed to Calvary’s cross after three years of earthly ministry, utterly rejected of His own people, He cries out in Luke 23:34: “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” Israel is spiritually insane, murdering their innocent Messiah because they think He is a criminal. The nation has been completely given over to the spiritual darkness they have preferred (see John 12:37-50). Peter the Apostle, preaching after Christ’s resurrection, says to his fellow Jewish people, “And now, brethren, I wot [understand] that through ignorance ye did it [refused and killed the Prince of life, verses 13-15], as did also your rulers” (Acts 3:17).
If a man is accused of being “beside himself,” the imagery conjured is that he is standing in one place but his mind is standing off to his side. He is isolated from his wits (mental faculties). Unbelieving Israel “diagnosed” Jesus as such in today’s Scripture (cf. John 10:20). Dismissing Him as “mentally ill” was the only way they could account for His extraordinary words and conduct. Actually, nothing was wrong with Him. They were lunatic, dead in their trespasses and sins, totally unable to welcome Almighty God’s wisdom and work….