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The Blue Letter Bible

Don Stewart :: Is It Possible That Jesus Was Insane?

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Don Stewart

It is clear that Jesus made outstanding claims about Himself. It is also clear that the evidence leads us to believe that He believed His claims were true. There are some who contend that Jesus made the claims and believed them to be true because He was mentally unbalanced.

The Accusation Is Not True

We respond to this accusation as follows.

1. Jesus Did Not Act Insane

From someone deluded or insane, we would expect them to act consistent with insanity. That is, someone insane would do and say insane things. When we look at the life and teachings of Jesus we see anything but insanity. After Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount the crowd was awed by His teachings.

And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at his teachings for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes (Matthew 7:28,29).

The words of Jesus rang clear and true.

2. He Was Always In Control

Moreover, Jesus handled Himself as one always in control. When He was betrayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, He demonstrated self-control and mastery over the situation. He said.

'Do you think that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he will provide me with more than twelve legions of angels? How then could the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen thus?' In that hour Jesus said to the multitudes, 'Have you come out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs to take me? I sat daily with you, teaching in the temple, and you did not seize me. But all this was done that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled' (Matthew 26:53-56).

3. His Teachings Were Not That Of A Lunatic

As we search the Scriptures, we find there is nothing in the character of Jesus to cause us to believe Him to be insane. On the contrary, the depth of His teaching and His masterful character testify that He was indeed the Son of God.

On one occasion the Pharisees sent some of their men to apprehend Jesus:

Then the officers came to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, 'Why have you not brought him?' The officers answered, 'No man ever spoke like this man!' (John 7:45,46).

4. Jesus Understood His Identity And Mission

Jesus was always aware of His Person and mission. He told the religious rulers.

But he continued, "You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world" (John 8:23).


There is no evidence that Jesus was mentally unbalanced. He did not act like someone insane. There is nothing in his character that indicated any type of insanity. In addition, Jesus was a person who was in control of every situation- including His betrayal. He never let others control him. The teachings of Jesus were not that of a lunatic. Far from it. They are acknowledged by all to be in a class by themselves. Finally Jesus was always aware of his Person and mission - he knew whom he was and why he was on the earth. Consequently there is no evidence anywhere that Jesus suffered from some type of delusion concerning his character.

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