Strange people from Tyre and Sidon and across the Jordan River, Gentiles who had strange gods and strange customs.
And His religious opponents? They considered Him to be demon possessed. That’s no surprise, for evil spirits recognized Him and called Him by name. He often spoke to them as He cast them out of people. His opponents, then, but also His family, sought to silence Him: His family by coming to take Him home and away from the crowds; His opponents by calling Him dangerous and, finally, calling for His death.
Jesus would not be silenced, however. Nor should you be silent. Embrace the crazy! Be willing to be considered nuts! This is what Jesus did, and if you wish to be His follower you must bear His name and reputation and accept His cross.
Accept God’s Scriptures as true and good and holy, a certain guide to knowing Him. As we see in Genesis 3, even the smallest change of what He says leads to destruction, for it is the rejection of Him. “Did God really say?” is what the devil and the world will say to you, attempting to make God seem foolish. “Yes, He did” is to be your response. It is better to be a fool with God than wise with men, for the foolishness of God is wiser than men. God is eternal and He shares His eternal life and nature with His believers, whereas man and his wisdom is passing away.
It is also the will of God that you bear scorn and suffering for Christ, for in this way He turns you from the love of this world to yearning for the life to come that Christ will bring when He returns in glory. St. Paul says in our reading from 2 Corinthians, “this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”
Finally, not only realize this but rejoice in this: you who believe in Jesus as the true God and your Savior are received by Him as His brothers and sisters. “Whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother,” He declares. And, what is the will of God? Jesus was asked this by Israel’s leaders, and He told them plainly, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him who He has sent.” (John 6:29) If, then, you are scorned and rejected by others – even your own family! – because of your faith in Christ, rejoice and be glad that your Lord has received you as His own family! He will never forsake His own. As we see with Jesus in that house that was packed full of strange and uncomfortable people, He will stand with you and speak for you. “Who are my mother and my brothers?” And looking about at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers!” Jesus says this on this day of little Rebecca, who was born in sin and so under Satan’s influence but is now cleansed by His blood in her Baptism and filled with His eternal life; and, He says this of you who are here listening to Him. You are His precious brother; His sister; His mother! His Father is your Father, and His home is your home.
Rejoice then, you crazy people, you fools of Christ! His life is yours! In the blessed name of Jesus. Amen.