How Jesus Responded to Madness
Luke 6:11 And they were filled with madness; and communed one with another what they might do to Jesus.
Intro: I want to begin by saying that we live in a nation where we are literally surrounded by people that are filled with madness. This word MADNESS here literally means “folly; madness expressing itself in rage.”
Never before has the hatred, the rage, the madness been so prevalent.
People in the political world are filled with madness.
People in the science community are filled with madness. – wearing three masks is recommended??
People in the educational system are filled with madness. – teachers unions won’t go back to work.
The social media platforms are filled with madness. – censoring and cancelling anyone they disagree with
The religious leaders are filled with madness – the pope has declared support for same-sex unions?
The health department is filled with madness – a man that dresses up like a baby doll is assistant secretary of the HHS
People driving in the streets and shopping in the stores are filled with madness.
There’s not a day goes by that I don’t shake my head and say, “this is sheer madness.”
If you are like me, your emotions run the gamut in trying to process the insanity that surrounds us.
One minute you are angry, the next shocked. One minute you are praying and the next you want to fight.
One day all you can say is “there’s nothing we can do”. The next, “We’ve got to do something!”
We are surrounded on every hand by madness.
But this is not new. Jesus dealt with people that were FILLED WITH MADNESS back in His day.
This story starts out like so many of the miracles that Jesus performed. There are so many similar components.
1. He was in the Synagogue.
2. It was the Sabbath
3. Someone with a Sickness
4. A group of Skeptics, Scoffers and Super-spiritual hypocrites were also there.
Jesus did what He always did. He healed the sick man.
The scribes and Pharisees did what they always did. They got mad.
In fact, the Bible says they were FILLED WITH MADNESS. But make no mistake.
Their madness was much more involved than the fact that He healed this man on the sabbath day.
There were some underlying reasons why they responded to His act of kindness and mercy.
Let’s examine them before we get into how He responded to their madness.
They were FILLED WITH MADNESS because:
A. He Discerned their Thoughts – vs. 8 “But he knew their thoughts…”
These scribes and Pharisees were not willing to say what they were thinking.
Their thoughts were so DISTORTED, DISCONNECTED, DISFUNCTIONAL that they wouldn’t say them out loud.
Here was a man with a withered hand, and instead of trying to help him, or minister to him, or even tell him about the One that could heal him, they sat and watched him.
Their diabolical agenda was more important to them than his well-being; his withered hand being healed.
They were always oblivious to the obvious.
Their hatred for Jesus was so strong that they were blinded to the needs of others and their own condition.
They were more interested in making Jesus look bad than making this man’s life better.
So they sat there in a place of authority and prominence, thinking their thoughts; scheming and conniving.
And Jesus walked in and immediately read their mind.
One of the signs of our times is a group of people that do not have the courage to voice their thoughts.
Their thoughts are so ungodly and so wicked that they many times will not admit to what they really think.
They are in the political realm and in the religious world.
They’ve been that way for years – and just now are some of them willing to say what we knew all along.
One reason this crowd hated Jesus was because He knew exactly what they were thinking.
He could look at them and see straight into their heart.
A similar situation happened in the previous chapter (Luke 5.)
A man with the palsy was brought in and lowered down through the roof.
Jesus said unto him, “Man, thy sins are forgiven thee.” (vs. 20)
The scribes and Pharisees began to reason “Who is this which speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” Notice the next verse:
- Luke 5:22 But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answering said unto them, What reason ye in your hearts?
The Scripture tells us in another place that Jesus had the ability to know what is in the heart of man.
Though Jesus was man, He was also God. He had an omniscience that is difficult to understand.
- 24 But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men,
- 25 And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.
NOTE: That is why some people don’t read the Bible. It has the unique capability to discern the thoughts of man.
- Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
B. He Dismantled their Theology – vs. 9 …I will ask you one thing: Is it lawful…
The most dangerous place you can be sometimes is between a person and their false religion.
There are few things that infuriate some people as much as calling into question their unbiblical beliefs.
With one simple question, Jesus publicly exposed the fallacies of their man-made traditions and religion.
They had fabricated a system of beliefs out of thin air and were forcing them on everyone else.
They had no biblical precedent; no logical or legal basis for it at all, but they were dogmatic.
Like people today – I don’t think it is the fact that we believe differently.
It is the fact that we recognize and call out the hypocrisy and fallacies of what they believe.
- 7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
- 9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.
NOTE: The scribes and Pharisees were professionals at VIRTUE SIGNALING. (see Matt. 23:26-29)
But Jesus – He was the one with virtue – see Luke 6:19.
They were busy VIRTUE SIGNALING; Jesus was busy VIRTUE SPREADING.
They were guilty of having a two-tiered justice system; laws for them and laws for everybody else.
- 2 Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat:
- 3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.
- 4 For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.
They couldn’t defend their position because of the insanity of it. They couldn’t even answer his question.
LOOK at Luke 14:1-6
Their traditions were INCONSISTENT, ILLOGICAL and IMPRACTICAL.
C. He Disregarded their Traps – vs. 7
Of all thing things that Jesus did that day, one of the biggest things that triggered them was this.
He looked at them, knowing their thoughts, knowing their tradition and religion, and did what He wanted to.
They were looking for a chance to “find an accusation against him” (vs. 7) and He gave it to them.
He was not the least bit intimidated by their spying; their scoffing; their skepticism; their scheming.
People that thrive on fear and intimidation hate it when you are not afraid and not intimidated.
He completely disregarded what they thought and did not hesitate to do what needed to be done.
I love this about Jesus. When it came to “political-correctness” he did the opposite of what they wanted.
- He could have walked away.
- He could have waited until another time.
- He could have sent someone in to ask the man with the withered hand to come outside.
- He could have done a lot of things, but he didn’t.
He didn’t let their traps, their watching, their waiting for a chance to catch him intimidate him at all.
As a matter of fact, he called the man into the midst of the synagogue and made him an object lesson. (vs. 8)
He knew how they would respond – vs. 10 “And looking round about upon them all, he said unto the man…”
- Jesus didn’t falter at the opportunity to demonstrate His power; He flaunted it.
- Jesus didn’t shield His power; He showed it.
- He didn’t hide His power; He held it up.
- He didn’t disguise it; He displayed it.
They were so filled with madness, “they communed one with another what they might do to Jesus.”
- He didn’t go into hiding.
- He didn’t compromise.
- He didn’t negotiate with them.
- He didn’t invite them to come preach for him.
- He didn’t build bridges.
- He didn’t add them to His mailing list.
- He didn’t follow them and share them on social media.
- He didn’t issue an apology and make the man’s hand withered again.
- He didn’t change His Sabbath healing policy.
So what did Jesus do? What was his reaction to the madness of his day?
I. He Continued in Personal Devotions – vs. 12
- Luke 6:12 And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.
One thing that is consistent in the ministry of Jesus Christ was the continual opposition.
There was continual criticism; continual controversy; continual confrontation.
But guess what else was consistent in the ministry of Jesus?
Continual prayer; continual practice of spending time with God.
One of the things that I have learned is that when there’s a group of people hounding you that are filled with madness, prayer and time with God is one of the first things we need to do in our response.
Our first tendency is to also be filled with madness.
Our first response many times is to be filled with righteous indignation and lash out.
These people were filled with madness, and they were conspiring to hurt him.
What was Jesus’ first response? He went off by Himself.
Not to pout; not to feel sorry for himself. Not to plot revenge.
He went out to pray.
This was something He always did.
- He fasted and prayed in Luke 4:1 (see Matthew 4:2)
- He prayed again in Luke 4:42 (see Mark 1)
- He prayed again in Luke 5:16 again in chapter 6:12.
The secret to maintaining your composure when people are filled with madness is to stay on your face before God.
II. He Committed to Preparing Disciples – vs. 13-16
When a lot of people would have been contemplating reducing, Jesus was interested in reproducing.
I’ve been both shocked and angered at how many churches have cut back their services.
ILLUSTRATION: Explain to me why bars and nightclubs spent thousands of dollars to build outdoor facilities to get around the COVID restrictions, but churches were cutting services?
His preaching, his ministry, his way of doing things filled some people with madness.
His response was to recruit more helpers; train more workers; invest in more disciples; long-term strategy.
As a former missionary, and as a pastor, I never cease to be amazed at this strategy.
Jesus was God in the flesh and could do anything. I mean anything!
Yet he recruited disciples and trained them in the face of adversity and overwhelming opposition.
He didn’t dial it back; He stepped it up.
He didn’t retreat; He recruited.
He didn’t back down; He doubled down.
He didn’t hit the mute button; He hit the multiply button.
America got a little bit darker in January.
We have two choices; either we can scream at the darkness, or we can overwhelm the darkness with light.
The more Christians we have letting their light shine, the better.
The more lost people we can win to Christ and make disciples, the better.
Jesus’ strategy was simple. He knew the day would come, when they would finally kill Him.
He knew His time on earth was limited, so He chose to train others to carry on the work.
We have to train our children as fast as we can.
We have to train our teenagers as fast as we can.
We have to disciple our new converts as fast as we can.
Take on more missionaries. Raise more mission’s money. Help more churches get started.
Knock more doors. Pass out more tracts. Run more ads in the paper. Broadcast more messages.
III. He Confronted the People’s Diseases – vs. 17
SEE the parallel passage in Matthew 4
- 23 And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.
- 24 And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them.
He had just healed a man with a withered hand.
The people’s response was to be filled with madness and to conspire against him.
What did he do? He looked for more people to heal.
There’s not a week that goes by but what there are not hurting people coming through these doors.
They need help with addictions.
They need help with their marriage.
They need help with their children.
They need help getting victory over their flesh.
They need help dealing with past abuse.
They need help with dysfunctional families.
I say BRING IT ON!!
In I Samuel 22, David went into the cave of Adullam.
- 1 David therefore departed thence, and escaped to the cave Adullam: and when his brethren and all his father’s house heard it, they went down thither to him.
- 2 And every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented, gathered themselves unto him; and he became a captain over them: and there were with him about four hundred men.
David build a fighting force of a bunch of hurting men that nobody could match.
If we are going to do what Jesus did in Luke 6, when people around us are filled with madness, go to work making disciples!!
We need to increase our fighting force, and strengthen the things which remain.
IV. He Concentrated on Preaching Doctrine – vs. 20-49
See also Matthew 5:1 –7:29
Jesus knew that His doctrine would fill some people with madness, but that didn’t stop him.
He didn’t water down his message.
He didn’t decide to dial it back.
If Jesus was here today, I don’t believe He’d get rid of the pulpit and revert to a more inclusive, mild-mannered approach.
I don’t believe He would make preaching secondary.
I don’t believe He would change Bible versions to something more “relevant.”
I don’t believe He would ignore divisive doctrine and focus on a more tolerant, inclusive message.
He was surrounded by people that were filled with madness, and he cut loose preaching!
According to Matt. 5:1-7:29, He preached on just about every topic under the sun.
He hit everything that moved. Go look at it. He preached on the Beatitudes. The Similitudes. Murder. Adultery. Divorce. Oaths. Retaliation. Love. Giving of alms. Prayer. Fasting. Money. Judging. False teachers. False professions and more.
He didn’t back down. He didn’t quiet down. He didn’t sit down.
He preached. And he preached some more.
While they were full of VENGEANCE (vs. 11) Jesus was full of VIRTUE (vs. 19).
While they were communing with one another, Jesus communed with the Father.
While they were trying to figure out what to do TO Jesus, Jesus was busy doing things FOR other.
- While some were FILLED WITH MADNESS, Jesus was filled with MOTIVATION.
- While some were FILLED WITH MADNESS, Jesus was filled with MENTORING.
- While some were FILLED WITH MADNESS, Jesus was filled with MINISTRY.
- While some were FILLED WITH MADNESS, Jesus was filled with MESSAGES.