“And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, he is beside himself.” (KJV)
“And when his family heard it, they went to seize him, for they were saying, he is out of his mind.” (ESV)
“When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, he is out of his mind.” (NIV)
Has there ever been a time in your life when someone, a parent or a spouse or a friend, said to you: “Have you lost your mind?” or “Are you crazy?” or “Are you out of your mind?” because you were passionate about getting a project done. Maybe it was restoring an automobile or working for a cause like Relay for Life; or doing research, or remodeling, or showing compassion on a mission trip?
And you know when you have gotten into these situations, sometimes you don’t want to take time to eat or maybe sleep, you don’t really take care of yourself. You may have been staying up until midnight, or 2 or 3 o’clock in the morning.
This is what we have here with Jesus. He has so much compassion for the lost, He is almost doing something 24/7. Remember back to chapter 1:35, I talked about Jesus getting up early to get alone to talk to his father.
Now let’s dissect this verse a little. In the King James Version it says “When his friends heard of it” and in the English Standard Version and the New International Version say “when his family heard it”. We get family from verse 31 when it says Jesus’ mother and brothers came.
Now what they were probably hearing was about Jesus ceaseless activity of preaching and teaching and healing and questioning the religious leaders. He was taking time for himself, not even to eat as we see from verse 20.
The next part of the verse, “they went out to lay hold on him,” or “they went to seize him.” Jesus family went there with the intentions to seize him and force him to return to Nazareth with them. At this point, just like the disciples, Jesus family hadn’t grasped who Jesus really was. Don’t we react in the same way? We don’t see or hear of it much anymore, but what do you think of the preacher who stands on the corner? We may walk past and whisper to ourselves, “That man or person is crazy. He’s just not right. Someone may call the police to take him away.”
Jesus’ family may have been concerned about his health, but they were probably more concerned about the family’s reputation. In their estimation or thinking, Jesus was acting in a fanatical and insane way. To the Jewish people one’s name and reputation were like a badge of honor. Don’t we react the same way about our own family? When we hear someone has done something, we may say, “He’s not like that. He would never do something like that.” We see this in the news regarding how family and friends react to the news of a family member doing something drastic. In the case of Jesus’ family, the son of Joseph is teaching and preaching with authority and in conflict with religious leaders.
In the last part of the verse, “He is beside himself” or “He is out of his mind.” And we can see what the religious leaders are saying about Jesus in verse 22. They may have started the suggestion, “He is out of his mind. That Jesus, He’s crazy, He’s out of his mind. Someone needs to do about Him.”
Regardless of what others may be saying about us, we have to decide who to follow when looking for opportunities. Will you follow Jesus or will you follow the crowd?
1. Be ready for opposition. Anyone who goes out in zeal and compassion to do the work of God will be met with opposition from any number of people or groups - religious leaders, from friends, from family, the enemy, etc. - and you must be ready for it.
2. As a church, we need to come along side pastor Andy and Susan who are passionate about serving God and help them and do our part in serving. Also, we as a church need to be sensitive to pastor Andy and Susan’s needs and make sure that if they need time to regenerate, get away, go to a seminar, that we give them that time.
3. Jesus looked for opportunities and we must also.
4. When those opportunities arise, do it!!! Don’t worry about what people are going to say to you or about you or if they think, “they’re out of their mind.”