“For whether we be beside ourselves, it is to God: or whether we be sober, it is for your cause.“
(2 Corinthians 5:13, KJV)
The Greek phrase “besides ourselves” means, in this context, to be out of one’s right mind, or considered insane. The Apostle Paul was viewed as “crazy” because of his zeal for the truth and constant desire to live for the Lord. With his fervor for serving the Lord, he seemed fanatical and like a man out of balance. In Acts 26:24, we read that “Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, you are mad; your great learning is turning you mad.” And Paul responded in verse 25, “I am not mad, most excellent Festus, but I am speaking the sober truth.” Festus, who was the Roman procurator at the time, sent Paul to Rome for trial at the Emperor’s tribunal which led to Paul’s two-year imprisonment. It was there that he subsequently wrote the epistles: Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon.
Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.”
(Mark 3:20-21, NIV)
We are told in Mark 3, Jesus was also thought by His family to be “out of his mind” and accused by the teachers of the law to be possessed by Beelzebul, the prince of demons. Likewise in John 10:20, they said of Him, “He is demon-possessed and raving mad. Why listen to him?” Personally, being considered crazy for the sake of Jesus is a compliment, not an insult. If the people of the world think I am crazy because I am following Jesus and the Word of God, so be it. The Word of God is Truth; He is the Author and Creator of the Word. As followers, when we declare the Word of God to be the absolute truth, some people may think we are off our rockers. In John 17, Jesus says, “I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.”
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men.“
(John 1:1-4, NIV)
As we follow Jesus, like Paul, we should have a deep-rooted devotion for the Lord, consumed with a zeal for heavenly things. Consider it an honor to be called crazy for the Lord. Like Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:13, “Whether we be beside ourselves or whether we be sober, it is to God.” It is for His cause; to please, honor, and glorify Him.
“‘Then I asked, ‘Who are You, Lord?’
‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ the Lord replied. ‘Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen and will see of me. I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’“
(Acts 26:15-18, NIV)
Join the POP Team as we travel to Israel January 9-18. It’s where the Bible comes alive and the presence of God is felt in a whole new way. You can find out more details by clicking on the link.