Read Mark 3:20-22
20-21 Then he went indoors, but again such a crowd collected that it was impossible for them even to eat a meal. When his relatives heard of this, they set out to take charge of him, for people were saying, “He must be mad!”
22 The scribes who had come down from Jerusalem were saying that he was possessed by Beelzebub, and that he drove out devils because he was in league with the prince of devils. (JBP)
Sincerity is a great virtue. It certainly beats hypocrisy! But it can be a mixed blessing. If it is linked to what is good and true it is commendable. If it is linked to what is ugly and evil it is downright dangerous. Hitler sincerely believed the Jewish race was subhuman. Lenin sincerely believed his brand of Marxism was the prelude to a workers’ utopia.
And in our passage today we can safely assume Jesus’ critics were sincere. The crowd genuinely thought he was crazy. His relatives sincerely believed he was better off safe at home with them. The religious scholars sincerely believed he was demonic.
They were all sincerely wrong. It is foolishly untrue to argue that it doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you are sincere. To be sincerely wrong is still to be wrong. Jesus remains Jesus irrespective of our sincere rejection of his claims. We need his mercy to be right with God regardless of whether we sincerely believe we are good enough without it.
Our faith and life need solid ground on which to stand. For all its undoubted virtues, sincerity alone cannot sustain us.