Some Cried: Lunatic

The first century Jew living in Palestine did not know what to make of Jesus of Nazareth. Some thought he was a prophet. Others rejected Him completely. The Bible says, “There was a division therefore again among the Jews for…many of them said, He hath a devil, and is mad; why hear ye him? Others said, These are not the words of him that hath a devil. Can a devil open the eyes of the blind?” (John 10:19-21)

It’s a lot easier to call a man an idiot than to refute his claims. Thus some of the Jews, not knowing what to do about Jesus, simply said – the man is mad, he’s a lunatic. Certainly, as a general rule, we might say that any man who claims to be the Son of God is crazy. But with Jesus of Nazareth there are two reasons why we cannot dismiss His claim to divinity by crying “Lunatic.”

First, there are the works of Jesus. When some began to say of Jesus, “He hath a devil, and is mad,” others replied, “Can a devil open the eyes of the blind?” Jesus not only restored sight to the blind, he also caused the deaf to hear, the lame to walk, and even raised the dead. Therefore many of his contemporaries rightly concluded that he could not be dismissed by crying “Madman.”

Second, there is his teaching. In reply to the charge, “He hath a devil, and is mad,” others said, “These are not the words of him that hath a devil.” Jesus was the master teacher. It is He who gave us the golden rule. It is He that taught us to love not only our friends but our enemies as well. Even infidels often admit that Jesus was a great teacher. Those who heard Him in person as well as those of us who read His words 2000 years later know that these are not the teachings of one who is mad.

What are we to make of Jesus of Nazareth? Certainly the combination of His words and works, His miracles and His teachings, are consistent with His claim to be the very Son of God.