Mark 3:22-30: Throwing mud.
“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.’” NIV UK
It is all too easy to demonise and label people you don’t like; those you disagree with. As far as ‘’the teachers of the law’’ were concerned, Jesus wasn’t accredited and therefore had to be sidelined. He must be labelled in such a way that people would no longer take him seriously. After all, if even His own family thought Him mad, what were others to make of him? It’s been pointed out that even at this early stage, Mark shows the dark shadow of the cross once again falling on Jesus.
Whatever criticisms people may level at Christ and Christianity, it probably won’t be difficult to find the holes in them. Jesus easily responded to what was hurled at Him on this day. His response doesn’t require explanation. It is self-evident. What they were suggesting was a logical absurdity. The argument had a huge hole in it.
We often worry about Jesus’ words in (28, 29). It’s understandable that we do. Tom Wright explains it well though. I find his words so helpful: ‘…if you decide firmly that the doctor who is offering to perform a life-saving operation on you is in fact a sadistic murderer, you will never give your consent to the operation.’ ‘Mark for everyone,’ p.38.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I thank you for your power over all evil. Deliver us from the evil one.