June 8, 2015

Mark 3:21 When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.”

This is Jesus they are talking about of course, and this is the New International Version of the bible. Other translations have the family quote as “He is beside himself;” “He’s gone mad!” or not using it as a quote “they thought he was crazy;” and “They suspected he was getting carried away with himself.” I encountered an interpretation of Jesus years ago through C. S. Lewis, though I’m not sure he claims to have originated it, which goes like this- if Jesus really acted like and said the things about himself that the gospels claim, we only have three possibilities. Either he knew they weren’t true but said them anyway which would make him a liar; or he really believed they were true when they weren’t which would make him “out of his mind,” what is suggested in the verse above; or he believed them because they were, in fact, the truth which indicates his unique status in history. Liar, lunatic or Lord are the three options. Certainly we could nuance these, but I think the basic argument has merit. What about you? This week consider what you know about Jesus and which of these, liar, lunatic or Lord, makes the most sense to you. Then, of course, you must consider what you are doing regarding that conclusion.

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