Christians are considered by many to be absolutely crazy - and let’s face it, with good reason. A.W. Tozer notes in his book The Root of the Righteous: “A real Christian is an odd number anyway. He feels supreme love for one whom he has never seen, talks familiarly every day to someone he cannot see, expects to go to heaven on the virtue of another, empties himself in order to be full, admits he is wrong so that he can be declared right, goes down in order to get up, is strongest when he is weakest, richest when he is poorest, and happiest when he feels worst. He dies so he can live, forsakes in order to have, gives away so he can keep, sees the invisible, hears the inaudible, and knows that which passes knowledge.” Yes, without doubt, Christians are different! However, it is encouraging to know that we are, at least, in good company. In Mark chapter 3 a crowd said that Jesus was, "... out of his mind," (verse 21) and “possessed," (verse 22). In John chapter 10, they said that Jesus was, "demon possessed and raving mad," (verse 20). Consequently, it is of little surprise that they treated His disciples with the same contempt. For example, after Paul gave his testimony to King Agrippa, he was accused of being out of his mind, (Acts 26:24).
Such thoughts were not limited to the ‘fanatics’ of the First Century (AD). If we were to trace our way through the history of the Christian Church, we would find numerous individuals who have been considered unbalanced because of their commitment to Christ. Those, for example, who:
• Tediously copied the Scriptures by hand before the age of the printing press.
• Lit the torch of the 16th Century Protestant Reformation.
• Gave their lives as martyrs.
• Stood in public places to speak openly of Christ.
• Set aside prestigious and lucrative careers to quietly serve the Saviour in some obscure part of the world.
The writer to the Hebrews (11:36 - 38) describes such Christians as those who, "... faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. They were stoned; they were sawn in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and ill-treated... They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground."
The epitaph, marked by the very hand of God, on the tombstones of these "peculiar" people is: "People of whom... the world was not worthy," (Hebrews 11:38).
Next time someone accuses you of being ‘strange’ or ‘peculiar’ because of your testimony in Jesus Christ, rejoice! You’re in good company.