When his family heard this they went out to restrain him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.”
[Mark 3:21 NET]
Even our Lord’s relatives did not understand Him. His life was so unworldly that it could not be measured by the ordinary standards. Here they could account for his unconquerable zeal only by concluding that He was insane. We hear much of the same kind of talk in modern days when some devoted follower of Christ utterly forgets self in love for his Master. People say, “He must be insane!” They think every man is crazy whose religion kindles into and sort of unusual fervour, or who grows more earnest than the average Christian in work for the Master. Some of Paul’s friends thought he was crazy when he went sweeping over land and sea to carry the gospel to every city. But his answer was, “No, I am not crazy; the love of Christ constraineth me.”
That is a good sort of insanity. It is a sad pity that it is so rare. If there were more of it there would not be so many unsaved souls dying under the very shadow of our churches; it would not be so hard to get missionaries and money to send the gospel to the dark continents; there would not be so many empty pews in our churches, so many long pauses in our prayer-meeting, so few to teach in our Sabbath schools. It would be a glorious thing if all Christians were beside themselves as the Master was, or as Paul was.
It is a far worse insanity which in this world never gives a thought to any other world; which, moving continually among lost men, never pities them, nor thinks of their lost condition, nor puts forth any effort to save them. It is easier to keep a cool head and a colder heart, and to give ourselves no concern about perishing souls; but we are our brothers’ keepers, and no malfeasance in duty can be worse than that which pays no heed to their eternal salvation.