Thursday, 13 August 2015
For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; or if we are of sound mind, it is for you. 2 Corinthians 5:13
This continues Paul’s thought of the previous verse. To the Corinthians, he said that he wanted to “give you opportunity to boast on our behalf.” How could they do this? Paul explains that when charges are leveled against him as an apostle, they could use the argument in this verse.
It appears that some had said that he and the other apostles were either nuts or at least on their way to the funny farm. This is what he means by “beside ourselves.” It is a charge that was made against Paul in Acts 26 –
“Now as he thus made his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, ‘Paul, you are beside yourself! Much learning is driving you mad!'” Acts 26:24
Even more, it is a charge that was levied against the Lord. Two such examples follow –
“Therefore there was a division again among the Jews because of these sayings. 20 And many of them said, ‘He has a demon and is mad. Why do you listen to Him?'” John 10:19, 20
“Then the multitude came together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread. 21 But when His own people heard about this, they went out to lay hold of Him, for they said, ‘He is out of His mind.'” Mark 3:20, 21
Paul says now that if they were beside themselves, it was “for God.” In other words, their zeal was so strong for upholding the truth of God that others may say they were out of their minds.
On the other hand, for those who understood their position and their zeal, they knew that they were of “sound mind.” And if of sound mind, it was for the sake of those they ministered to. Therefore, they could easily defend Paul and the other apostles, being given this opportunity to boast on their behalf – “He isn’t nuts, except about Jesus! He isn’t crazy, but if he is, it is about the gospel. He is as right as rain.”
Life application: Do you know someone who is a bit eccentric and yet is totally sold out to the Lord? Let the eccentric be overlooked; there is genius behind the zeal for Christ.
Heavenly Father, I often wonder if I’m a bit nuts. And the answer is “Yes, I am nuts for Jesus.” I sometimes wonder if I am looked at as a bit off my rocker. And the answer is, “Yes, I jumped out of that to praise the Lord.” And at times, people say that I should be committed. They forget that I already am; I am committed to You. No shame here! I am on fire for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Praise the Lord, Hallelujah, and Amen!