Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Mark: houses divided, blasphemy against the Spirit, mother and brothers

Mark 3:22-35

The end of this chapter starts with the Pharisees accusing Jesus of casting out demons with the power of demons.  Jesus responds with an, "Oh no, you didn't."  He then told his disciples something that is falsely attributed to Abraham Lincoln.  "A house divided against itself cannot stand."  He is not talking about a country, a political party, or a denomination, though that is true of them.  He is talking about Satan and his kingdom.  If Satan really wanted to win his contest against God, then he will not use his own powers to destroy his fellow angels.  They will attack at full force.

Jesus came to destroy Satan and his kingdom and to establish God's kingdom.  He is not going to use demons to destroy demons.  Jesus is the source of all power.  The Pharisees stepped across a point of no return when they accused God Almighty of joining forces with evil to stop evil.  Not only would Satan's kingdom have divided, God's kingdom would have divided.  God's kingdom will not divide, but will last forever and will end Satan when the time is right and all of God's elect are finally saved.

Next, Jesus gives a statement that disturbs many people.  "All sins will be forgiven except blasphemy against the Holy Spirit."  Honestly, I'm still not quite sure what exactly he means by that, but apparently, the Pharisees who accused Jesus of witchcraft had committed it or were in danger of doing so.  Are we in danger of this?  Could I accidentally slip up and blaspheme the Holy Spirit?  I'm going to repost the Coram Deo from Tabletalk on March 3:

     Dr. RC Sproul writes in his commentary Mark,"Worrying about [whether one has committed the        unforgivable sin] is one of the clearest evidences that [the troubled person has] not committed this      sin, for those who commit it are so hardened in their hearts that they do not care that they commit        it."  Blasphemers of the Holy Spirit are so hardened against God that they do not care about sin, so      if we are repentant, we can be sure we have not blasphemed the Spirit.

Finally, Jesus is causing such a stir in the world of Israel that his own mother and brothers are trying to take him home and calm him down.  They tell Jesus that his mother and brothers are outside.  Jesus said, "Who are my mother and brothers?  For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.”

Jesus never sinned, so he was not disrespecting his mother.  He was just saying that people who are saved are his family.  Not necessarily people who are blood related to him.  And I will be offensive by saying this, but this is one of the many signs that Jesus's mother was not perfect and just another older sister in Christ to me.  She was an impressive lady, but she was just a human who needed salvation as she herself says in he Magnificat in Luke 1:47.  She calls God her Savior, meaning that she also needs to be saved.  

But all believers are God's family and all professing Christians are saints who have direct access to God the Father with only Jesus as our intercessor, making it alright for us to approach God and to not burn in our sins as he took our sins for us and gave us his righteousness in exchange.

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