Chapter
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John 10:20

ESV Many of them said, “He has a demon, and is insane; why listen to him?”
NIV Many of them said, 'He is demon-possessed and raving mad. Why listen to him?'
NASB Many of them were saying, 'He has a demon and is insane. Why do you listen to Him?'
CSB Many of them were saying, "He has a demon and he's crazy. Why do you listen to him? "
NLT Some said, 'He’s demon possessed and out of his mind. Why listen to a man like that?'
KJV And many of them said, He hath a devil, and is mad; why hear ye him?

What does John 10:20 mean?

Jesus' public teachings are often controversial, to the extent they cause arguments among His audience (John 7:43). Most recently, Jesus has given sight to man born blind (John 9). That sparked a confrontation with local religious leaders which continued through all of this chapter. Jesus has used shepherding analogies to explain Himself (John 10:1–14), including the idea that He is willing to die for the sake of His "flock." The truly provocative statement came in verse 18, where Jesus specifically claimed that He would willingly die—and then willingly resurrect, thanks to special authority granted by God.

To some in the audience, this claim is bizarre enough that they think Jesus is crazy. This isn't the first time people have suggested that He is mentally ill. At one point, His own family tried to bring Him home, thinking He had lost His mind (Mark 3:21). His critics sometimes accused Him of insanity—considered a form of demonic possession in that era—in order to discredit Him (John 8:48–52).

Others, however, point to Jesus' miracles and other signs to suggest He's telling the truth (John 3:1–2). The supernatural signs, especially, make it hard to accept the idea that Jesus is a raving lunatic (John 9:16).

Verses 20 and 21 only indicate the two main positions of the crowd; no particular resolution is given. After recording the basic response of the audience, John's gospel skips ahead several months to a different incident.
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