- Monday, October 15, 2001
In John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, Pilgrim's decision to leave his home and venture into the Celestial City was met with great opposition. He was accused of being crazy by those closest to him -- his wife and children -- and "they hoping that sleep might settle his brains, with all haste got him to bed."
Have you ever been told, "You'll grow out of it," when you shared your faith? Do you have a spouse who is not a Christian and thinks you've simply lost your mind? Do your co-workers and friends look sideways at you and just shake their heads?
If that's the case, then it's okay. Another had been thought crazy too. The greatest man who ever lived -- the Son of God and the king of Kings -- had the same problem. He understands even if no one else does and He will stand with you even if no one else will.
Jesus says in John 15:18-20, "If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. But because you are not of the world, I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you ... A servant is not greater than His master. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you."
What is Jesus saying? He's saying: Look, when you followed me, I didn't promise you roses. When you decided to give up and be my disciple, I didn't promise you that everything was going to go right. So, don't act surprised when people think you're crazy. They thought I was crazy, too. Don't act surprised when people persecute you. They persecuted me, too.
One of the great difficulties of being a Christian is what we call the majority syndrome. That means if you can get enough people to believe anything, it must be true. If you can get enough people to believe that a lie is not a lie, then we believe that it ceases to become a lie. Jesus never bought into that bogus philosophy--and that put Him in the minority. And the majority is want to label the minority crazy.
Let me give you some of the world's lies: "You can be happy and contented if you have enough money." "Everybody's doing it, why not you?" "What you have is yours: you earned it and you deserve it." "It doesn't matter what you believe as long as you're happy." Those are all lies and if you don't believe them, the world will call you crazy.
If Jesus was a liar or a lunatic, you're a fool (and so am I) and we are to be above all men most pitied. Jesus said, "I go to prepare a place for you ... and I will come again and will take you to myself that where I am you may be also." The world says, "Get it now -- eat, drink and be merry because when you're dead, you're dead." Jesus said, "He who believes in me will never die."
If the world is right, then the believer is crazy. If Jesus is right, then the world is crazy.
In Pilgrim's Progress, they laughed at Pilgrim as he made his journey to the Celestial City. They said he was crazy. Today the world says the same thing about those of us pilgrims who would follow Jesus Christ. Just remember: When Christ walked the earth, they said He was crazy, too.
Copyright 2001 Steve Brown. All rights reserved.
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