Consider that Jesus traveled the land (of Galilee mostly) on foot. (Yes, sometimes He traveled by ship in the Sea of Galilee.) Thousands would follow our Lord wherever He went ---if He hadn't already "departed" secretly (even though the multitudes would find Him). In this context, consider Mark 8:1-2: "In those days the multitude being very great, and having nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples unto him, and saith unto them, I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now been with me three days, and have nothing to eat..." By modern so-called "standards", the world would condemn and "discredit" Jesus for this. The world would say that the multitude had a so-called "right" to be fed every day. The children of darkness would say, "How could this Jesus be the Christ if He didn't fulfill the multitude's ((so-called)) 'right' to be fed every single day? Would the TRUE Christ not keep his followers fed every single day?" Indeed, the world would call Him "mad" for trying to "be the Christ" when He supposedly couldn't be if He wasn't feeding His followers every single day! As well, the world would further try to "discredit" Jesus by adding, "He has such 'cult-like control' over his followers because he keeps them hungry." Indeed, the world would use this to call Jesus "mad".
In the tenth chapter of Matthew, Jesus sent forth his twelve apostles (verse 2). He sent them forth to spread the message about "the kingdom of heaven"... However, He placed a condition on the apostles that would be considered "mad" by the world's supposed "standards". To wit, in Matthew 10:9-10: "Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat"... Jesus was commanding the apostles to go forth trusting in the LORD completely and to work for their "meat" as well. In the tenth chapter of Luke, we see that Jesus also sent forth 35 pair(s) of other disciples in the same manner. "Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves. Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes... the labourer is worthy of his hire." (Luke 10:3-4,7c.) Indeed, to the world, directing His followers to obey that command would represent "exercising too much control over His followers". To command His followers to go out on such faith would be called "madness" by the world ---not to mention the requirement that His followers actually EARN their food! Truly, the sons and daughters of Belial would call these actions as being "madness" and "cult-like control" over His followers. Indeed, the world would use this example, too, to call Jesus "mad".
The next example is one that even caused Jesus to "lose" some followers (John 6:66)! In John 6:50-58, Jesus sounded as if He was promoting cannibalism, exhorting His followers to EAT HIS FLESH! In John 6:53-56: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him." One can quickly imagine what the modern-day world's "news media" would "report" if they heard that Jesus had made that statement today! Beyond any doubt, the world would be quick beyond measure to cast that "soundbite" (albeit out of context, but what else would be new?) as supposed "proof" that our Lord and Saviour was/is so-called "mad". As well, the world would definitely cast this example as "proof" that Christianity, the "sect of the Nazarenes" (Acts 24:5), is some bizarre form of "cult". Indeed, the world would use this example, also, to call Jesus "mad".
Even though others were given revelation that Jesus was/is the "mashiyach" (maw-shee'-akh), Messiah, Christ (before and) without His telling them, the world would say that he was "self-proclaimed" to be the "Son of God". "Self-proclaimed." "Self-proclaimed." It doesn't matter that His followers perceived the Truth before Jesus ever said it. Consider the sequence with John the Baptist in Luke chapter 3 followed by chapter 4. Consider that it was by that very "ROCK" (Peter) of Revealed Insight that Jesus surnamed Simon as Peter in Matthew 16:13-19 and John 1:42. It didn't matter that even evil spirits, devils cried out "Thou art Christ the Son of God" on their own. (Luke 4:41.) Yet with all that evidence, the workers of iniquity still said that Jesus only "self-proclaimed" Himself to be equal with God. (See Matthew 26:63-65.) Indeed, before Pilate, the Judaeans cried out in John 19:7b: "We have a law, and by our law he ((i.e., Jesus)) ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God." Indeed. It didn't matter to the children of darkness that the followers of Christ Jesus had proclaimed it even before Jesus verbalized it Himself. It didn't matter that the evidence was obvious that Jesus was (and is!) the Christ. It didn't matter that that which Jesus had foretold was being fulfilled as they spoke! Rather, they used this as another "reason" to call Jesus "mad". The children of Belial used this to "discredit" Jesus for forming some kind of a heretical so-called "cult". Indeed, the world would use this example to call Jesus "mad".
Of course, it makes sense that the world would do this. After all, it was extremely frustrating for the children of darkness because Jesus was always able to confound them and their manmade doctrine-snares with Scripture.
© June 4, 1995, The Standard Bearer
P.O. Box 765, O.O.B., ME 04064