Was Jesus Insane

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Was Jesus Insane? 

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • February 2, In the year of our Lord, 2014


  1. An Atheist Claimed Jesus Was Insane,

    “Intelligent people recognize that the Jesus portrayed by the New Testament was an insane Paranoiac. He suffered from delusions of persecution and from delusions of grandeur. He was so insane that he considered himself either God or equal to God—as he had been taught that God was. He was the most viciously sadistic creature in all history…” (James H. Johnson, The Atheist, Vol. 54, No. 2, p. 2, Quoted in: Reason and Revelation, Vol. 6, No. 5).
  2. If Jesus was insane, 
    1. why do people
      1. oppose Him?
      2. oppose His church?
      3. oppose His Scriptures?
      4. oppose His teachings?
    2. If he was psychotic, ignore him!
    3. I think their much protesting reveals more than they wish.
      1. It is not that they think He was insane, but
      2. they do not like what He taught.
  3. This atheist, Mr. James H. Johnson, used the New Testament 
    1. to make his case of the insanity of Jesus.
    2. However, if the New Testament is reliable,
      1. how can testimony be rejected?
    3. If it is unreliable,
      1. how can it be used against Christ?
    4. If it is mixture of both,
      1. how do you distinguish which is which,
      2. except by prejudice?
  4. You may never have talked with someone of this nature. 
    1. I have.
    2. However, you may have wondered about the statements of Christ
      1. that Mr. Johnson criticizes.


  1. Dead Bury the Dead

    22 “Follow Me, and let the dead bury their own dead” (Matt 8.22).

    1. Did Jesus advocate letting bodies rot?
    2. He did expect a burial.
      1. The spiritually dead could attend to burial.
      2. This disciple was not putting Jesus first; didn’t recognize Jesus.
        1. Like rich young ruler.
        2. Don’t soldiers go off to war to the neglect of life at home?
    3. Honorable burial:
      1. Jesus promoted it8 “She has done what she could. She has come beforehand to anoint My body for burial” (Mark 14.8).
      2. Early church practiced2 And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him (Acts 8.2).
  2. No Thought For Life

    25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?” (Matt 6.25).

    1. Bible teaches planning6 Go to the ant, you sluggard!
      Consider her ways and be wise,
      7 Which, having no captain,
      Overseer or ruler,
      8 Provides her supplies in the summer,
      And gathers her food in the harvest.
      (Pro 6.6–8)

      10 For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat (2Th 3.10).

    2. What Jesus taught:
      1. Do not be anxious
      2. Do not let food and clothing be your main concern
      3. Prioritize
  3. Break Up Homes

    34 “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. 35 For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; 36 and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household’” (Matt 10.34–36).

    1. Christianity greatest promoter of home
      1. Humanism, the logical step after atheism, is greatest enemy.
      2. If there is not God, why maintain home?
    2. Who spoke this message?
      1. All relationships are subservient to one with Him.
      2. Who is He?
  4. Belief in Satan, Demons, and Angels 
    1. Did Jesus teach that illness is demon-caused?
      1. Possession could result in this32 As they went out, behold, they brought to Him a man, mute and demon-possessed (Matt 9.32).

        18 “And wherever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, and becomes rigid. So I spoke to Your disciples, that they should cast it out, but they could not” (Mark 9.18).

      2. Sickness does not automatically point to possession34 Then He healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and He did not allow the demons to speak, because they knew Him (Mark 1.34).
    2. Atheists disbelieve because they reject anything foreign to experience
    3. If Scripture is a credible witness, we can accept its testimony.
  5. Cannibalism

    53 Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you” (John 6.53).

    1. Such a thing as figurative language?
      1. Do atheists ever use figurative language?
      2. Atheists speaks of sun rises and sunsets.
    2. Later, in John 6, Jesus revealed the nature of these words,63 “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life” (John 6.63).
    3. Context!
  6. Jesus Cursed a Fig Tree

    12 Now the next day, when they had come out from Bethany, He was hungry. 13 And seeing from afar a fig tree having leaves, He went to see if perhaps He would find something on it. When He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. 14 In response Jesus said to it, “Let no one eat fruit from you ever again.” And His disciples heard it (Mark 11.12–14).

    1. Was Christ throwing a fit?
      1. Figs appear before leaves
      2. Example of hypocrisy—appeared fruitful
    2. What do farmers do with unproductive trees?
      1. As deity He can do as He pleases.
      2. He farms the Earth.
    3. He taught an object lesson to them.
  7. Love Enemies

    44 “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you” (Matt 5.44).

    1. Would be foreign to worldly thinking.
    2. To Christians every human is potential neighbor (Luke 10.25–37).
    3. Try following His teaching and see how it works out!


  1. Can an insane man change the world for good as Jesus has? 
  2. If He was insane, may we all become insane!