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by Wayne Blank
"And He went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and preaching The Gospel of The Kingdom and healing every disease and every infirmity among the people. So His fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought Him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, and paralytics, and He healed them. And great crowds followed Him from Galilee and the Decapolis and Jerusalem and Judea and from beyond The Jordan." (Matthew 4:23-25 RSV)
"I am not mad ... I am speaking the sober truth"
The servants of Christ were also given the same means to preach and heal.
"And He appointed twelve, to be with Him, and to be sent out to preach and have authority to cast out demons: Simon whom He surnamed Peter [see Peter's Introduction To The Messiah and Peter's Ministry]; James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James, whom He surnamed Boanerges, that is, sons of thunder; Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Him." (Mark 3:14-19 RSV)
The Truth that Christ taught and lived by was, and is, at odds with the world because the world, as it yet is, has a set of standards that are based on carnality and lies (see the Fact Finder question below). As such, Christ was sometimes viewed as "beside himself" because He was not living the way of the carnal-minded world, Satan's carnal-minded world (again, see the Fact Finder question below). Even some of those closest to Him, who (thought that they) knew Him best, applied carnal standards to a man who lived only by The Word of God.
"Then He went home; and the crowd came together again, so that they could not even eat. And when His family heard it [see Mary's Other Children?], they went out to seize Him, for people were saying, "He is beside Himself." (Mark 3:19-21 RSV)
Others went even further in their accusations.
"And the scribes [see also Traditions of The Lawyers] who came down from Jerusalem said, "He is possessed by Beelzebul [see Baal-zebub and Beelzebub], and by the prince of demons He casts out the demons." (Mark 3:22 RSV)
Christ made plain that the standards of the world are yet Satan's (once again, see the Fact Finder question below), and that those who make blasphemous accusations against those who teach and live by the Holy Spirit of God are risking an unforgivable sin.
"And He called them to Him, and said to them in parables, "How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but is coming to an end. But no one can enter a strong man's house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man; then indeed he may plunder his house. "Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they utter; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin" (Mark 3:23-29 RSV)
The apostles later were subjected to the same carnal judgments. When the apostle Paul (see Paul's Ministry) preached the Truth before a Roman court, it was received in the same way i.e. "Paul, you are mad; your great learning is turning you mad."
"Wherefore, O King Agrippa [see The Herods], I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, but declared first to those at Damascus, then at Jerusalem and throughout all the country of Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God and perform deeds worthy of their repentance. For this reason the Jews seized me in the temple and tried to kill me. To this day I have had the help that comes from God, and so I stand here testifying both to small and great, saying nothing but what the prophets and Moses said would come to pass: that the Christ must suffer, and that, by being the first to rise from the dead, he would proclaim light both to the people and to the Gentiles."
Paul continued with the plain truth, with the hope that even his accusers would come to see the light:
"But Paul said, "I am not mad, most excellent Festus, but I am speaking the sober truth. For the king knows about these things, and to him I speak freely; for I am persuaded that none of these things has escaped his notice, for this was not done in a corner. King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you believe."
Fact Finder: Who is as yet "the god of the world" by which the "sanity" of God's people is judged?