- Today’s text taken from the lectionary for today is Mark 3:20-3520 Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. 21 When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.” 22 And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebul! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons.” 23 So Jesus called them over to him and began to speak to them in parables: “How can Satan drive out Satan? 24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. 26 And if Satan opposes himself and is divided, he cannot stand; his end has come. 27 In fact, no one can enter a strong man’s house without first tying him up. Then he can plunder the strong man’s house. 28 Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, 29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.” 30 He said this because they were saying, “He has an impure spirit.” 31 Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. 32 A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, “Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.” 33 “Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked. 34 Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 35 Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”This passage has some challenging ideas in it. At least two places in this passage Jesus says some things, that rub up against us wrong, or at the very least are hard to understand.So the tendency, in my opinion is to shy away from these passgaes, or ignore them and say well they aren’t for me.If we do this too often we may miss what God has for us in His word. Let’s look at this passage and see if there is anything in there to help us today.At the beginning of this chapter, in the verses preceeding todays reading, Mark makes it a point to point out that Jesus’s ministry is attracting quite a crowd.7 Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the lake, and a large crowd from Galilee followed.Mark 3 verse 7, Jesus withdrew to the lake and a large crowd followed.8 When they heard about all he was doing, many people came to him from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, and the regions across the Jordan and around Tyre and Sidon.Verse 8, many people came to Him from all over.and Verse 9,9 Because of the crowd he told his disciples to have a small boat ready for him, to keep the people from crowding him.You get the idea-Mark is letting us know there is a crowd.Mark does not in any way indicate that the crowd has any kind of faith, or belief. The crowd is just these people watching the events unfold, trying to hear some helpful words of wisdom, maybe see a miracle now and then.This is certainly the case today in our world around us right? There are churches all over. Billboards advertising said Churches, church and preachers on TV , books and T-shirts.Facebook posts social media influencers, we all know who is going to church and who isn’t. People at our work, maybe talk about a new church or we hear about Jesus on radio stations.In some sense just living in America these days is being a part of the crowd. We are all part of the crowd, your neighbors are part of the crowd, your co-workers, are part of the crowd, your friends are part of the crowd.However, while Mark speaks of the crowd, he equally wants us to be aware that there is an intimacy with Jesus that different, separate and apart from the crowd.7 Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the lake, and a large crowd from Galilee followed.Verse 7, again-Jesus withdrew with his disciples.9 Because of the crowd he told his disciples to have a small boat ready for him, to keep the people from crowding him.Becasue of the crowd, he told his disciples to have a small boat ready-so that he could withdraw from this crowd.In Verse 13, of Mark 3, Jesus calls the disciples out of the crowd to a special intimacy with him.13 Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him.and further,14 He appointed twelve that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preachWe now pick up today’s reading, and Mark writes this.20 Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat.Now, the crowd has so interrupted the intimacy that Jesus has with followers that they are not even able to eat.Mark is making the point that the crowds can interrupt. or infringe on this intimacy that Jesus has with his followers.Now with all the hype around Jesus people necessarily must form opinions about him. People have opinions about everything right? ANd those that love him, and are closest to him, no doubt want the best for him, they are going to step in and take care of Jesus.21 When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.”When Jesus can’t even eat, well then it is time for the family to step in. They stage an intervention-Jesus’s family, and perhaps extended family , is watching out for him.We have to do something. It was one thing when you we were a traveling preacher, and you were teaching all this good news stuff, but now, well this is getting out of hand.This can’t keep going on like this. You must be crazy Jesus. We will just tell everyone he is crazy and usher him out of here, perhaps back home to Galilee.Love of God, devotion to Christ, belief in Jesus sometimes comes with it an accusation of insanity.Paul in Acts 26.2424 At this point Festus interrupted Paul’s defense. “You are out of your mind, Paul!” he shouted. “Your great learning is driving you insane.”This is still the case today.Many times when a Muslim person makes a decision to follow Jesus, they do so at the expense of being thrown out of their family. And their family members shake their heads and say they must be insane, why would they leave?They could just continue to be a member of the crowd? Couldn’t they? Can’t we?Maybe it isn’t insanity…There is another group thereMaybe this just isn’t of God-becasue this does not look like what our religion taught us. Our religion is peaceful, and we stay in-line. This doesn’t really look like a good thing.22 And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebul! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons.”Now, earlier, a few verses back in the section we didn’t read-Jesus drove out some demons.Unfortunately, this is one of the disadvantages of using the lectionary-we just sort of jump in midstream)11 Whenever the impure spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, “You are the Son of God.”When Jesus drove out these demons-when the demonic, when the servants of Satan confronted the Holy God incarnate… , they fell down before Him and cried and cried out-YOU ARE THE SON OF GOD.They identify Jesus-they have the intellectual knowledge of who Jesus is.12 But he gave them strict orders not to tell others about him.But he-That is Jesus gave them strict orders-notice even demons obey him-He gave them strict orders -NOT to tell others about Him.It seems there is this knowledge of who Jesus is-that is not for the crowd. It is a more intimate knowledge that you just are not going to get from the crowd. The crowd has many different views, many different opinions based on hundred different stories, but what Mark is trying to get across to us, is that we have to carefully think this through.The teachers of the law-the established religious people of the day are puzzled, becasue Jesus does not fit the mold it is different- yet there has to be an explanation-and they have to get people to stop following him.What is the best way to do that? Accuse Him of being demon possessed himself.22 And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebul! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons.”This is now reached a new level- so Jesus engages them with some simple logic- some simple stories.23 So Jesus called them over to him and began to speak to them in parables: “How can Satan drive out Satan?Come on this is not even making sense-You think I drive demons by the power of Satan-can Satan drive out Satan?24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.This is common sense-No kingdom-divided against itself can stand-division from within-Kills governments- it kills families-and workplaces-and armies.25 If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.26 And if Satan opposes himself and is divided, he cannot stand; his end has come.Jesus goes on with the logic.27 In fact, no one can enter a strong man’s house without first tying him up. Then he can plunder the strong man’s house.No folks this is common sense-If Jesus is casting out demons-If there is fruit on the tree-if it walks like a duck and sounds like a duck- It is most likely a duck.Jesus drove out demons-He taught like no one has ever taught before and He healed people…He did miracles, who Is HE?This is what it all boils down to. WHO IS JESUS? This has the same feel to it as Matthew 16.13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”Jesus asked the disciples-WHo does the crowd think I am. Here in Mark we have a couple choices.. He is either insane-at least that is what his family thinks-HIS OWN FAMILY by the way He is insone- Or… he is the devil...WHo is he?We have to ask ourselves that very question. Ourselves. We cannot rely on what the crowd says. There are churches that teach Jesus was a great man and a great teacher.Muslims believe he was a prophet, they even assign the title Messiah to Him, but they do not believe He is God.Others believe he is a great example to follow. You cannot let the world make that decision for you-You must make it yourself-Even here in the sanctuary or at home in your chair, or late at night in bed. You must make that determination for yourself As C. S. Lewis has said
A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would be either be a lunatic—on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg—or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronising nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.Jesus does not leave us with any other option. Those that were saw this and some made the decision he was a demon. ANd Jesus knew that-SO Jesus issues the sternest warning in all of scripture.28 Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, 29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.”This has been called the unforgivable sin- To Blaspheme the Holy Spirit.All other sins-Jesus says will be forgiven-except one- Blaspheming the Holy Spirit?. There is no recourse for that sin-that sin is eternal it will remain forever.What is it. It is attributing-intentionally-with wilful knowledge that the work of the Holy Spirit as evidence in the ministry and life of Jesus is attributable to Satan.All other sins are forgivable -except this one-Jesus is the only hope for forgiveness of any sins-He alone remains as the one who can pay the price for our sins.Jesus is God incarnate-He is the word made flesh- to turn to God and WITH FULL Knowledge call him Satan results in no other option.People often wonder, and other fear-Have I committed the unpardonable sin? Am I unforgivable?It has been often said that the fact that you fear this -means the Holy Spirit is acting on your heart-The Holy Spirit has come to convict the world of sin-He has come to point out ways in which we need forgiveness, and which we need the grace of God in our lives.This sin Jesus talks about is not accidental, or out of ignorance, but it is wilful and deliberate. It s more than just not recognizing who Jesus is, but it is recognizing and attributing to Him the works of Satan.This is indeed serious, but we cannot let that be our focus. In the phrase before that Jesus says all other sins will be forgiven28 Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter,Satan is often called the accuser. He tries to turn your focus off of Christ. He wants you think that your sins are not forgiven, that you not able to or- have not yet recieved the forgiveness, and grace and mercy offered by Jesus at the cross.Chances are if you wonder-or worry if you have committed that sin, that alone is evidence the Holy Spirit has not abandon you.Psalm 51, says wash me I will be clean- It is Davids heart cry for forgiveness.All other sins will be forgiven, as you recognize who Jesus is, Jesus washes you- As you come to Him, under the conviction of the Holy Spirit, You make the decision for yourself-not based on what the crowd says-. and Jesus cleanse you of all unrighteousness. He makes you a new creation, Therefore there is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus.He calls us be forgiven, turn to Jesus-Turn to the son of God and receive mercy and grace.
Please take a moment to send us your information so that we may stay connected with you. Your information is carefully managed and protected.
I am a:
How did you hear about us?