Welcome to the Monkey House!
Then he went home, and the crowd gathered again, so that they could not even eat. And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for they were saying, “He is out of his mind.” Mark 3:20-21
My high school yearbook quote reads, “In an insane society, the sane man appears insane.” This pithy quote is a paraphrase of a Kurt Vonnegut quote from a collection of short stories titled Welcome to the Monkey House.
“The actual quote is, “A sane person to an insane society must appear insane.”
The Son of Man has come to save humanity. The mobs are getting larger and more chaotic and are pressing in on him. It gets to the point where “they” can’t even get a meal. Who’s the “they?” It is unclear in Greek whether this means that Jesus and the twelve could not eat, or the crowds were so big that there was not enough food.
To make things even more confusing, somebody comes to seize Jesus and get him out of the situation. Again, the Greek is unclear because the words used literally say “those belonging to him” came. These people could be his family or those closest beside him. Note: In verse 31 of this chapter, Jesus’ mother and brothers will show up, so I lean toward Jesus’ closest disciples coming to the rescue in this insanity.
Either way, those trying to get Jesus out of this “monkey house” are telling people literally that “he is beside himself.” There should be no doubt that Jesus is obviously overwhelmed, and maybe his people are convinced that he is insane for continuing his work among this chaos.
Or maybe Jesus is the only sane ONE in the insane room!
There is so much work and so few resources. Help us focus on one task at a time without losing our minds. But also provide us with family and friends to watch out for us even if they are awkward in approaching us when we are overwhelmed.
And please give us the grace to understand and thank them.
I pray this in the name of The Great Physician. Amen!