Daily Bible Reading Devotional [Mark 3:22-30]-March 30, 2017

Scripture Reading(s)

Mark 3:22-30

22 And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and “by the prince of demons he casts out the demons.”

23 And he called them to him and said to them in parables, “How can Satan cast out Satan?

24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.

25 And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.

26 And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but is coming to an end.

27 But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. Then indeed he may plunder his house.

28 “Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the children of man, and whatever blasphemies they utter,

29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”

30 for they were saying, “He has an unclean spirit.”


Lydia.jpgThe Pharisees utterly failed to recognize that Jesus Christ is indeed God and has the power to perform miracles and holds the authority even over Satan and his demons. Jesus was consistently being accused of holding onto some higher power that they felt did not belong to Him. The Pharisees were so caught up in trying to find fault with Jesus, that they became so blinded by rage and jealousy and committed the one unforgivable sin. Accusing Jesus of being the devil and doing the works of Satan, is attacking all that He stands for. It is the ultimate rejection of who Jesus Christ is and is therefore a rejection of the message of the Gospel.

Jesus here is able to clearly point out to them how their logic is completely flawed in doing so. A worker of Satan would not go and fight against another fellow worker. If that were to be the case, then Satan would be at war with himself. The work of Jesus Christ would then be pointless if Satan is already at work to destroy himself.

The Pharisees lacked a major understanding of who Jesus is and His role on earth. They failed to see that the Savior of the world was standing directly in front of them offering a new way of life and a chance to walk away from sin’s grip. The chance to spend eternity in the presence of God was right at their finger tips and it was due to their selfish desires to be seen as the powerful, religious rulers of the time that they would say and do anything in order to try and destroy and discredit Jesus.

This passage ends with a message of hope and warning. If we confess our sins and pursue a relationship with Jesus Christ, we are secure in spending eternity with Him. If we choose to reject Him, then we end up facing eternal punishment. He offers us a new life, hope and joy that we cannot find anywhere else. He is an all sufficient Savior and He is calling out to you today.

Justin-Holmes1.jpgThis is a passage that has stricken fear into the hearts of many. Many people that I know have worried if perhaps they have committed the unforgivable sin. One can see how this would be a major problem if they had. So, before I give any type of reflection let us first examine what the unforgivable sin actually is.

In the story above, the Pharisees witness Jesus casting out demons. They confront Jesus and accuse Him of casting out demons in the name of Beelebul (a dirty nickname for the devil). Upon being insulted Jesus gives them a lesson in logic and then also a stern warning about blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. But what IS blasphemy of the Holy Spirit? Most scholars (and myself) would agree that blasphemy of the Holy Spirit was the sin being committed at that very moment by the Pharisees. They witnessed the power of the Holy Spirit at work but chose to call it demonic/satanic in nature. That is blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.

Have you committed blasphemy of the Holy Spirit? Most likely no. I would also suggest that this warning by Jesus could have also been specific to the Pharisees. However, if you see the power of God right in front of your face via a miracle or a healing and you call it demonic, that is pretty much the same thing that the Pharisees did. While the situation was quite different since they said it about Jesus, himself, it’s still a major offense if it were to happen today.

So, what can be learned from this passage? I would suggest that we take Jesus’ warning to heart in verse 24, “a kingdom divided against itself cannot stand”. As a church body the encompasses the globe we have to seek more unity with other denominations. We spend way too much time worrying about what other denominations believe about baptism or communion and a number of more petty issues. We curse those who are doing the work of Christ because we believe that somehow our church or denomination is better than others. We are creating a divided house and a divided house will eventually fall.

[Featured image from www.haikudeck.com]

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