What gets people so upset about Jesus if He is just an ordinary man from an age long since past?
By Donald Whitchard
Matthew 12:22-31,Matthew 12:46-50,Mark 3:20-35,Luke 11:14-23,Luke 8:19-21
Summary: You cannot be neutral about Jesus. You can admire Him or loathe Him. You can try to understand Him or have nothing to do with Him. You can listen to Him or ignore Him. The truth is that you will face Him one day, and what you have done with Him will decide where you will spend eternity.
Wherever Jesus ministered and taught, He either caused a riot or a revival. The work and words of the Lord Jesus Christ have affected lives, changed the course of history, made us face our mortality, make us grow up in terms of character, morals, thinking, and living, and for countless millions of souls who have trusted in Him to redeem them from the grip of sin, death, and hell, He is who He has claimed to be throughout the entirety of the Scriptures. The Holy Bible makes it as clear as a blue sky that Jesus Christ is God in the Flesh, who came to this fallen and wicked world to save us from our depraved behavior and evil ways. His death on the cross and His resurrection from the dead gives us the opportunity to turn to Him, accept His gift of salvation from hell and eternal death, be forgiven of sins and made new creatures in Him who will be with Him in the everlasting New heavens and New Earth promised in the Scriptures.
C.S. Lewis, in his magnificent work “Mere Christianity” makes it clear as to where he stood when it came to the person and ministry of Jesus Christ : “I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: ‘I am ready to accept Him as a great moral teacher, but I do not accept His claim to be God.’ That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic on the level with a man who says he is a poached egg, or else he would be the devil of hell. You must make your choice. Either this Man was and is the Son of God or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him as a demon, or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But, let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great moral teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”
Viewpoints concerning the Lord Jesus range from the sacred to the secular. Some people claim that He never existed. That, quite frankly, is the ranting of a fool wallowing in his own ideological dung and mud. I believe what the Scriptures say about Him. I do not make this statement on what some skeptical minds would define as “blind faith”, but through serious study, reading, inquiry, and examination, along with the leading of the Holy Spirit. By these means I have developed full faith and trust in Him, along with the mere existence of an orderly, rational, logical, exact, and precise scientific system that could not in any way, shape, or form be a collection of random molecules and cells somehow coming together at just the proper time in history. I cannot take the evolutionary hypothesis seriously when this and other factors come into play.
Jesus Christ has been the centerpiece of conversation and analysis for the past twenty centuries from individuals who have invested their lives in Him, both for good and bad purposes. His life and words are under severe and relentless attack today by everyone from atheistic scholars, biblical critics, media “hit pieces” from slanderous and deviant authors who are looking for a quick buck, as well as the ordinary individual who reads of these attacks and listens to critical venom on TV, the internet, radio talk shows, and watches films and programs that demean and degrade the name and work of Jesus and, not thinking for themselves, swallow the lies like a fish swallows a worm, and gets hooked by the forces of evil under the guiding hands of the devil himself.
Still, what Jesus did and said are the anvils on which the hammers of criticism and unbelief all break apart. Is it not unusual that if the Scriptures were of mere human thought that people would not even give it so much as a glance? If the Bible is just a “book of myths, fables, and legends”, as declared by people who have probably never taken the time or effort to read it, then why do they even bother to react to it without going into a rage or fit when the topic is brought up? What gets people so upset about Jesus if He is just an ordinary man from an age long since past? Why do people get angry, vindictive, and bent out of shape about Him if He is just as the critics say about Him? Opinions about the LORD are part of the narrative found here in Mark 3:20-35 and the other verses listed.
The crowd, a mixture of the curious as well as the devout, are with the LORD and His disciples. Mark makes the statement in his Gospel that Jesus could not at times get away from the crowds to where He could relax and get a bite to eat. He told His disciples after a time of ministry to go with Him to a secluded place and rest for a time. This is a clear portrait of the humanity of our LORD. As a man, He got tired, angry, sad, frustrated, and was not always nice, especially towards arrogant individuals who resisted His teachings and warnings. I doubt that His rebuke of the Pharisees in Matthew 23 would have gone over well if He had been visiting some of the excuses we tolerate for churches both here in the U.S as well as around the world. For the most part in all of the Gospels, He does not turn anyone away who came to Him and did not consign their needs to an appointment calendar and get to them at a later date. He possesses the heart of a true Shepherd and these souls around Him are His flock, all needing attention.
Into this scene comes His mother Mary accompanied by His brothers and sisters. The Bible NOWHERE says that Mary remained a perpetual virgin after giving birth to the Lord Jesus, or that He was an only child. He had literal flesh and blood brethren who grew up with Him in the home of Mary and Joseph. His brethren were of the union between Mary and Joseph after Jesus’ birth, and Jesus was their half-brother. We know that God is the Father of Jesus, with no sin passed on to Him like there would be if He had been just another man. Jesus did not inherit the sin nature as we have, for Adam was not His fore bearer as we are. The siblings of Jesus were just as much sinners in need of redemption as we are now, if not more so. The Scriptures tell us that they did not believe in Him and considered Him to be insane. This is why they are all here looking for Him. They do not want to hear Him teach, but are here to take Him back to Nazareth to be put under their care and get Him out of the public eye.
Imagine for a moment living in a household where your big brother was perfect in everything He did and said. He would have reacted to situations without resorting to flippant words or do foolish things. He was always mindful of what Mary and Joseph had taught Him and did as they asked without question or comment. He probably read and meditated on the Scriptures more often than his siblings, and I do not personally believe that they really knew how to react to Him at times. To be sure, they did love Him and He loved them, but for Him to say what He was declaring about Himself was too much for them, and the time had come in their view to bring all of this to a stop.
The scribes who were in the crowd had a different view about Him. They were not there to follow Him, but to try and catch Him in a lie about His claim to be the Son of God. No one ever denied His miracles and great works, but these religious snakes were accusing Him of being able to do these great works because He was under the rule of the demons. At the least, this accusation is ludicrous and Jesus knows it. He took these scribes aside and berated them for their lack of common sense as it dealt with theology and their misunderstanding of the will and work of God. First, the devil cannot cast himself out of anyone. Second, no kingdom can stand if it is divided. Third, a divided home cannot stand. Fourth, if Satan has arisen against himself, he has no grounds on which to stand, and finally, why would Satan want to do good works in the first place and why would he want to do anything to destroy himself or his malevolent deeds? None of these would make any sense.
Jesus went on to explain that a strong man must be bound before his house can be robbed. Satan represents the strong man, and Jesus is referring to Himself as the plunderer. He will take souls out of the hands of the devil and redeem them for His glory. Jesus is the One who will bring disaster on the devil and his works once and for all. The Pharisees and their brood who had declared the work of Jesus to be in league with the devil had crossed the line and would not be forgiven, for this blasphemy had equated the work of God with that of the devil, and that sealed their eternal fate. These people had full and complete knowledge about the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ and deliberately walked away from it, declaring this wondrous act of mercy and grace to be nothing of worth or value. This is the rankest form of apostasy. Is this happening today? Absolutely.
People who claim to be Christians, yet walk away from Him never to return or repent are nothing but godless reprobates and frauds, and we see this happening more in these last days before Jesus returns. We hear of noted Christian “celebrities” who decide one day that they no longer believe in God and end up trashing anyone who is a authentic follower of Jesus Christ. There are former pastors and staff members who have denied Christ and left ministries, often with a trail of sorrow, heartbreak, and feeling of betrayal from those people who at one time were part of their lives. We have leaders in the major Protestant denominations who have denied the essentials of the faith and the inerrancy of Scripture in order to promote causes, lifestyles, political positions, ideologies, and social issues that are in plain opposition to what the Bible declares about such things. The present day pope seems to support everything except the Christian faith. This is all apostasy, and for these individuals to openly reject the only hope they have of peace with God (John 14:6) and walk away from it will never choose to return, showing that they were never saved in the first place (Mark 4:16-17; Hebrews 6:4-6).
This scene ends with the rebuked Pharisees and scribes becoming even more enraged and demonic in their goal of eliminating Jesus as they leave in a silent rage. Jesus turns back to the issue of His family’s concern, telling those around Him that while He does recognize His earthly family, He was not subject to them. His real family would now consist of those who would come to Him as Lord and Savior. This will happen to His family after the Resurrection when He appeared to them. It will be His half-brothers James and Jude who would write letters to the churches which would end up as part of the New Testament canon.
His family and true friends call Him Lord and Savior. The world calls Him names to their eternal demise.
What will YOU say about Jesus? Your answer will settle the issue of where you will spend eternity, and I am not talking about being worm food, my friend. You had better take what the Scriptures and what Jesus Himself says about sin, redemption, heaven, and hell seriously. Repent of your sins, ask the LORD to forgive you and surrender your life to Jesus today. Do not let this day end without settling that issue, please.
Donald was born and reared in the authentic Cajun country of south Louisiana. He is a 1978 graduate of LaGrange High School in Lake Charles. He is also a graduate of Louisiana College (B.A. in History Education, 1984), New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (M.Div., 1994) and Andersonville Theological Seminary (Doctor of Ministry, 2000). He is an ACPE Certified Chaplain with training in Trauma/ER, NICU, and Psychiatric Pastoral Care from the McFarland Institute in New Orleans (2003). He has over thirty years of ministry service, which concluded when he was called to serve as pastor of Meadowbrook Baptist Church in Muskogee, Oklahoma from 2017-2018. Due to health concerns, he retired from public ministry in 2020 and now devotes his time to internet evangelism through the writing of Bible studies, sermons, and articles on current issues for varied Christian webpages and ministries. He is a regular contributor to sites such as Rapture Ready and Sermon Central as well as Inspirational Christian Blogs. He and his wife Cathy are both active members of Eastern Heights Baptist Church in Muskogee. Don will often serve as a panel member of the Gospel Rescue Mission Pastor’s Round Table Broadcast, shown monthly on the mission’s Facebook page as his health allows. He has a personal evangelistic blog as well and can be contacted at his Email address.