Mark 3:21 (ESV)
And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for they were saying, “He is out of his mind.”
Evidences abound for the authenticity of Scripture. Evidences also abound for the fact that the authors of Scripture, even early authors, understood the deity of Jesus. At times, the clearest proofs of these things are the Scriptural recordings of the weaknesses and failings of people in the text.
In the verse above, we have recorded for us a very strange thing. Jesus’ family believed him to be out of his mind. Mary and Jesus’ half-brothers and half-sisters thought he was nuts at the beginning of his ministry. They came along to try to rein him in.
How does this point to the authenticity of Scripture? No man-made holy book that is not inspired by God would dare record such a negative sentiment. No way would Mark have let us see Jesus’ family members thinking him to be crazy if Mark was not concerned to record for us the fullest and most accurate truth. I can tell you for sure that, if I were writing for you an account intended to convince you that a person is divine, I would not start with his own mother thinking him to have gone round the bend. No, this admission of the doubt of Jesus’ family members indicates to us that Scripture is honest, not hiding anything at all.
Ok, so we can see how recording this negative view of Jesus on his family’s behalf in his early ministry speaks to the truthfulness of Scripture. How, then, does the same thing actually help us to be convinced that Jesus is divine, the Messiah, and the Savior of all who believe? It is quite simple. Mark recorded this, though we also know that later in the Scriptures, all of the people in Jesus’ family who thought he was nuts at first eventually believed. James, Jesus’ half-brother, believed and eventually became a leader of the early church in Jerusalem, even leading the Jerusalem counsel of Acts 15. In Galatians 2:9, Paul calls James, Jesus’ half-brother, an apostle. Jude, another half-brother of Jesus believed. Both of those men penned New Testament epistles. Both believed Jesus to be God in flesh and the risen Savior.
I have two brothers. I can easily imagine making them think I was nuts—that would not be hard at all. What I cannot imagine is somehow convincing them that I was God. That could not happen. They would not be willing to die trying to convince others that I am divine. That is because I am not divine, and they know it full well.
What, then, would it have taken to convince Mary, James, Jude, and the rest that Jesus really is God in flesh? It must have been the miracles. It must have been the teaching. It must have been the authority. It must have been the resurrection of the Lord from the dead. It must have been that Jesus really is God, and that is how he convinced his own family along with those who knew him best that he is everything God ever promised.
Unlike other religions, Christianity does not have to hide the flaws of its leaders. We do not have to pretend that all in our past have been strong and perfect saints for all of their lives. Instead, we can tell the truth. We are sinners in need of grace. We can tell the truth that we did not all believe immediately and without reservation. Instead, we can tell the truth that we and those who have gone before us have been convinced by God and by the evidence that Jesus is God in flesh, that he died to pay for our sins, and that he lives again. This is how the doubt found in Mark 3:21 points us toward the authenticity of the Scripture and of the true, glorious identity of Christ.