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
Christianity and a certain dash of religiousness is something that society and even religious people can accept. There is a level of tolerance towards the faith but when it crosses the line and threatens to upset the equilibrium of the people, that’s when they decide “enough is enough” and something needs to be done to put a stop to it.
That is what is taking place here. Eating is a very normal thing to do. You should be able to do it in peace and not surrounded by a mob pulling at you this way or that. The relatives of Jesus are having their world of “normal” turned upside down and their peaceful way of life is being threatened.
When I was a kid, my friend was selling Gerbils (little pet rodents). Such a crowd gathered around his house asking to buy one, that his father could not eat his meal at the proper time. His usual schedule was being upset and he came out of the house extremely irate to send us away. He was annoyed at his son and that’s what is taking place here in the scriptures, something similar.
They’re convinced Jesus is out of his mind and are blaming him for all this noisy racket and unusual behaviour. All they want is a bit of peace and quiet and normality around the place. I’ve no doubt that Jesus was giving them some sort of bad name and embarrassing them because while he was admired by many, some would’ve seen him as the village fool.
Jesus teaches us here that while the people of the world have a schedule He does not. Christians are called to eat their meal in peace, and when that normal sort of behaviour becomes interrupted by an unusual event, to accept this and go hungry for the sake of the Gospel message.
The bread of what is natural and the normality of everyday life must not take precedence over the bread of what is supernatural. The world often view this type of behaviour as unnatural and anyone engaging in it are out of their minds. Jesus is out of his mind according to them because he’s upset the rhythm of the human schedule. He’s crossed the line of normal and is now portrayed as crazy.
The reason for this perception of his relatives is because Jesus behaviour is supernatural therefore it’s natural for them not to understand. Christians who strive to attain the virtues and who behave opposite to everything the world stands for are often viewed as insane because their behaviour is supernatural and so the natural minds cannot grasp what is going on and they lash out in anger.
Think of the visionary St.Bernadette when she saw Our Lady. She sees Our Lady but the people around her don’t see her neither can they hear the conversation. When Bernadette begins to obey Our Ladys orders to search for the spring and starts to eat the mud, the people think she’s lost her mind and begin to howl and laugh.
They’re unable to see or hear what is happening and so they make all sorts of assumptions according to their natural and sinful disposition of soul. Their hearts are removed from the supernatural event taking place before them. By the way it’s worth mentioning those I speak of were devout Christians who went to Mass every Sunday even the religious priests.
It’s the same when a man has repented and completely changed his life around. The locals are convinced he’s lost his mind and his new religious fervour is annoying them because it’s upsetting what they consider normal. This is why a person like this is often viewed as the local nutcase, even by priests and religious people.
That’s exactly how Jesus was viewed by many, the local nutcase but that’s what we are all called to be, the local nutcase. If people around you including priests and religious are not looking to take charge of you convinced you are out of your mind, if they are not whispering negatively about you in the dark corners of their meeting places, then you’re probably not doing it right.
Enjoy your evening meal in peace but be prepared for the phone to ring, the door to knock or the neighbour to call looking for help. Let the crowd upset your daily routine. Go hungry for the sake of virtue, reject the concept of normal, and don’t be afraid to look crazy in the eyes of those nearest and dearest to you for the sake of the Gospel message.