One of the things that Jesus was accused of was being crazy. Here was a homeless, self-made rabbi from Nazareth, with no authentic credentials from a Rabbinic school, who was challenging the religious leaders by his actions that flaunted the laws of the Torah by reaping on the Sabbath and healing the sick on the Sabbath. This man was advocating for the poor by speaking against the economic domination of the poor by the rich in his society. He was touching the “untouchable lepers” and healing them. He was restoring sight to the blind. He was referring to himself as Son of God, which was one of the specific titles of the Roman Emperor. He was healing people and casting out demons and talking about a Kingdom of God that he taught and modeled in his life. That Kingdom of God was completely different from the present conditions—it was ruled by God and not by the emperor or king. And the Kingdom of God was one of justice and fairness to all. I really believe if Jesus came and said and did similar things today in our world we would think he was crazy also. You see, when anyone is truly filled with the Spirit of God as Jesus was, they will always disturb and disrupt our sane and structured world by their words and actions. Jesus was filled with the Spirit and he did exactly that!
By what he said and by his actions Jesus was drawing an uncomfortable amount of attention to himself. As a result, two groups —those closest to him (his family) — and those most threatened by him (scribes and Pharisees) began to ask the same question: “Is this guy crazy?” “Has he lost his mind?” In the third chapter of Mark we read that Jesus’ family showed up while he was teaching large crowds and asked to see him. They had come seeking “to restrain him, for people were saying ‘he’s gone out of his mind!'” (Mark 3:21)
The other group, the scribes and Pharisees accused him of being demon-possessed and doing his work through the prince of demons—Beelzebul. In their minds he was crazy and dangerous and should be put away.
It makes me wonder what would happen if the church, referred to as the “body of Christ” by the Apostle Paul would go “crazy” like the one who is their head—Jesus the Christ? And then I ask myself—-what would that “crazy church look like?” What if the church today embraced the craziness of the gospel as shown in the life and teachings of Jesus? What if, rather than worrying about fitting in with the society they are apart of, the church didn’t care what society thought of them and instead were bearers of the message that Jesus brought through their actions? What would that church look like?
What if some of the churches sold their beautiful buildings and sound and projection equipment, their comfortable air conditioning and heat, and their padded pews and utilized the money to aid the poor, to minister to the sick and outcasts of society, as Jesus did to his own society. What if churches began to meet in old buildings downtown that were vacant so that they could encourage each other and spend their time serving the homeless, the poor, etc instead of spending their time keeping up their building and paying huge utility bills? Crazy!!!
What if the church started ministries that did more than entertain the children and educate the adults, but that pursued the prostitutes and help them out of their business by working with them to rid themselves of their addictions. What if the church focused on rescuing addicts with no regard for their own church’s reputation? Crazy!!!!
What if the church used their buildings and moneys to feed and house the homeless, to offer clothing to the poor, to provide dental and medical care to those who can’t afford it? Crazy!!!
What if the church became politically active and demanded changes in the economic and political domination systems of our day, where the few dominate the many economically and politically. What if churches descended on legislatures en masse at state and national levels and demanded specific justice and fairness for all and not just for the privileged few? What if the church demanded new laws that paid workers a living wage as a minimum wage? What if the churches demanded that laws treat the indigent with respect? Crazy!!!
What if the church sent its members out into the community to pick up and bring to the church for worship those wandering the streets in their city on Sunday morning? What if they gave them a special place down front, and then invited them to their individual homes for dinner after church? Or to a fellowship dinner at their church? Crazy!!!
If churches started doing the above, our society would think they were “out of their minds”, “crazy” and just plain nuts! May God give the church the will to be as crazy as Christ!! Amen