Devotional #11 (12/10/12). Jesus Accused of Being Possessed, the Unpardonable Sin.
Intro: Last week we saw Jesus heal a man on the Sabbath, tell demons not to say who He was, and chose the 12 disciples.
This Week’s Reading: Mark 3:20-35.
vv. 20-22. Jesus had become famous for His miracles and teachings and there were so many people all around Him that He and His disciples couldn’t even eat. Everyone wanted something from Jesus. But why did “His own people” think He was crazy? Possibly because: 1. He was a carpenter but had left to become a preacher which was looked down upon since He didn’t have the schooling, 2. He was doing different miracles now then He had done before, 3. He brought together questionable disciples, 4. maybe His judgment was in question.
Do you remember last week where Jesus didn’t want the demons to glorify Him or mention who He was because He didn’t want to seem like they were friends? This is exactly why, because the scribes say ‘He is possessed by the Devil (another name is “Beelzebub”).’ Then they make a foolish statement not based on the Bible. They think that the Devil would cast demons out of people.
vv. 23-26. In Jesus’ typical way He uses a parable to both tell the rulers why they were wrong but also a principle for His followers to live by. He tells the scribes that He isn’t possessed by the Devil because Satan, the ruler of the demons, would never throw them out of people.
American President Abraham Lincoln made a speech where he quoted this verse saying a house divided against itself cannot stand (Source 1). His point was that the United States could not be split on slavery and last as a country. Lincoln’s faith and leadership was what many think held the U.S. together during this time.
v. 27. To understand this parable we must know Satan is the strong man who is defending his possessions. Jesus is who is stronger than Satan so He can bind Satan. Jesus will plunder Satan’s house. So Jesus is saying what Satan thought he owned (like people’s lives) will be saved by Jesus, He is the deliverer!
vv. 28-30. Many people ask ‘is there a sin that God will not forgive me for?’ These verses have been known as “the unpardonable sin” and many people have different ideas what this may be but it is obvious from the context here and from the rest of the Bible what Jesus is talking about. Jesus just told us (v. 27) He will deliver us from Satan but have to ask Him. He will never force Himself on us. The Holy Spirit is always asking us but if we don’t accept Jesus as the only way to heaven then we will receive “eternal condemnation”, in other words “hell” because it’s what we chose.
vv. 31-32. Jesus’ mom Mary and His brothers came to see Him. It is interesting because none of the Gospels tell us what happened to Jesus’ dad Joseph. So Jesus’ family sends a message into this house full of people that they would like to see Him.
vv. 33-35. Jesus’ answer seems weird until we understand what He meant. He asks who His family is because He wanted the people with Him to pay attention. He was saying His real family wasn’t just those related to Him by blood but all of God’s children! If we do the “will of God” then we are part of Jesus’ spiritual family.
Summary: Notice that in this section there were specifically three things that Jesus mentioned under the idea of not being divided: a kingdom, a house and a person. This principle is true. For a kingdom if a king is divided the empire will fall. In a house if a husband and wife is divided the house is torn apart, we see this with divorce. And with an individual we can’t be divided and still stand. We must be in unity to make it, but the only way to really make it through well is with Jesus’ help. Remember “the unpardonable sin” is not repenting for the bad things you’ve done (and will do) and choosing not to follow Jesus, accepting what He did for you on the cross.