House Divided

Man and woman halve their house.Mark: According to

Part 19

Mark 3:20-30

House Divided

This is another time that the section breaks perhaps do not fall in the correct position. I have seen where verses 20 and 21 are one section, while verses 22 thru 27 make up the next followed by verses 28-30. But they really all belong together in one section. Mark does a poor job actually explaining the background into this section and for a better understanding it is really necessary to look in Matthew and Luke. Both of these gospels give us the background into what was happening. But even if we do not look at the other two gospels, there is enough evidence through the first 2 and a half chapters of Mark for us to get a good understanding what is happening.

20 Then the multitude came together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread. 21 But when His own people heard about this, they went out to lay hold of him, for they said, “He is out of His mind.”

What Mark fails to mention is covered by Matthew and Luke in that Jesus had healed a blind and dumb demoniac person. This drew many more people to Jesus but also set up the discussion that takes place at the end of chapter three in verses 34, 35. Yet in verse 22 we see the scribes coming from Jerusalem to level a charge against Jesus. Jesus had performed three miracles as recorded by Mark that occurred on the Sabbath one of which was the casting out of an unclean spirit who had cried out giving testimony that Jesus was the Son of God (see Mark 1:21-28). We see in Mark 3:11 and 12 that Jesus cast out many unclean spirits and they all testified as to Him being the son of man. Jesus had charged them with keeping quiet as to who His identity was, for he feared this would create even more hatred from the scribes and Pharisees, toward Jesus.

But in reality, the reference to “His own people heard about this, they went out to lay hold of him,” is actually a reference to His own family. The ancient Greek Papri that the expression may be used to refer to relatives. Thus it is probably that the statement of verse 21 anticipates the incident of verses 31-35 of the third chapter of Mark. But as we will see when we get to those verses, that Satan even employed the Christ’s own family to thwart His ministry. How often in our own life does Satan attempt to thwart the effort of Christ’s faithful when they engage in ministry by employing their own families to destroy their ministry.

22 And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, He has Beelzebub, and By the ruler of the demons He cast out demons. 23 So He called them to Himself 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 cannot stand. 26 And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but has an end. 27 No one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. And then he will plunder his house.

Let me ask you, for many that are reading these words are married or have been married in the past. When was your marriage the strongest. Well of course the answer would be when we were working together in a common cause. When we relied upon each other and supported each other. Then applying this principle, would it make since for all these unclean spirits to be cast out by another unclean spirit. Would that not defeat the purpose of an unclean spirit being in possession of a person, making them their agent for evil in the world. So then why would the Devil cast out his own demons from someone. Of course, the answer is it would not make any sense, but this is the charge that is leveled against Christ by the religious leaders of His day, because they failed to humble their hearts and accept the teachings of this man who spoke the truth about the word of God as though He himself had written it all those years ago.

Jesus parable of the one who attempts to rob the house of a strong man further drives home the point that if the strong man were really strong, he would not allow himself to cripple himself or be crippled by another by being bound. The religious leaders were certain that Jesus was not of this world and therefore he could not possibly be from heaven therefore He must be of Satan, but if that were the case, then it would serve no purpose to perform these miracles of cleansing people from being possessed by these unclean spirit, but it would be the same as binding up a strong man to rob him of his possessions.

Jesus then gave a stern warning to these religious leaders and to all those that were listening. All these unclean spirits that had been cast out of the people had testified as to who Jesus truly was and his other miracles and the testimony of His witness, the Bible of their time all showed that Jesus was indeed from God Himself. The Holy Spirit was working on the hearts of the people to get them to accept the fact that Jesus was indeed the Son of God.

This was an important junction in the ministry of Christ as the people weighed in their minds the things, they had seen, heard and experienced. In truth the evidence was overwhelming that Jesus was Lord and the Messiah. Yet he people wavered in their decision and so Jesus gave to those that listened and followed him along with all of us today that we must be careful. Let us read the texts together.

28 Assuredly I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter; 29 but he who blasphemes against the holy Spirit never has forgiveness but is subject to eternal condemnation – 30 Because they said, “He has an unclean spirit.”

As we read and study the Bible along with the testimony of those who follow Jesus by the way they live their life and speak of Jesus, does not impress upon the minds of people the fact that Jesus is the Messiah, who came to impart upon all forgiveness and grace, then they stand ready to reject the one who Christ has given as a gift to also testify to all the power of God as shown through His only Begotten Son, who died upon the cross, to save us, If we reject all the evidence and the prompting of the Holy Spirit then we will commit the unpardonable sin.

On several occasions, people have come up and asked, “How do I know if I have committed the unpardonable sin?” By the very fact that they asked wondering if they have is proof that they have not, for it is the working of the Holy Spirit upon their heart that prompted them to ask, “Have I rejected the Holy Spirit?”

The Triune God head is very different than our earthly relationships, so we sometimes fail to miss how this relationship works. It is the purpose of the Holy Spirit to convict us of our sin and to lead us to Jesus. Jesus invites us to learn of the Father and points all who come to him to the Heavenly Father. The heavenly Father in turn has given all power and all authority in heaven and on earth to Jesus, who imparts this power to His earth children through the power of the Holy Spirit. It is a perfect unselfish relationship that exists between the Triune Godhead. So in essence when we reject the Holy Spirit, we are rejected Christ, for the Holy Spirit points all to Christ. And if we reject Christ we in turn are rejecting God the Father and in this way, when we ask that the Holy Spirit bother us no more, we are rejecting the Triune Godhead and thus cutting ourselves off from the very source of life. That great gulf that was created at the time Adam sinned was bridged by Jesus when he died upon the cross and our rejection of the Holy Spirit in effect removes that bridge forever cutting the sinner off from forgiveness.

As you read this post, I am sure some are wondering, have I cut myself off from the source of life. The answer is most assuredly no, for if you had then you never would have read this far into the post. God is striving daily to find as many earth children as are willing to surrender their hearts to the prompting of the Holy Spirit, and if you are reading this post, then the Holy Spirit is still at work in your life. No matter the sins you have committed in the past, God is still working through his faithful followers and the Holy Spirit to bring about a changed life, a life that accepts Christ as their personal Saviour and is willing to surrender their hearts and like the disciples of Jesus, accept the call to become servants of God.

It was clear the scribes that came to question Jesus and accuse Him of being of Satan, were in danger themselves of rejecting Jesus, and committing the unpardonable sin.


Published by The Bible In Your Hand

Hi, I am Pastor Lester Bentley, a devoted husband, father, and Pastor for the Northeastern Wyoming District of the Rocky Mountain Conference of Seventh-day Adventist. I am committed to the great gospel commission as stated in Matthew 28:19, 20.

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