Reading Scripture: Mark 3: 20-30

Jesus, the loon, and shame of his family in Mark 3: 20-30.

I can imagine a similar scenario recently after a young man has become a hit pop-star. He tries to go home, but all of the locals know he’s home and all of the screaming fans are outside disrupting an attempt at normal family dinner.

“This is ridiculous, you are out of your mind for wanting this attention and I’m putting a stop to this!” says the father.

It’s also entirely plausible that his family was saying he’s crazy in an attempt to save him from what would inevitably come of challenging the religious authority in that day. Death. Something Jesus wasn’t concerned about, but you can see a mother being like, “He’s out of his mind! He doesn’t know what he’s saying! No need to kill him to shut him up or anything!”

In the meantime, the experts from the big city heard this and are like, “Yes! Yes, he is, because the only way he could do what he is doing is if he is in direct control of the lord of demons! That’s why he does it without using anyone’s name!”

If you recall in the previous instance, the Pharisees had a meeting and determined to get Jesus killed. I imagine they sent this desire to corporate, and corporate sent their best Satans to do the job!

In return, Jesus gives two examples of why that’s ridiculous. First, if he were using the power of Beelzebub, he would be casting out his own forces, and thus be fighting against himself. Who would do that?

Second, if the first is not true, the only way for Jesus to be able to cast out demons is if he has greater power over their leader, thus once again proving Jesus’ strength and authority over demons.

Then, a most wonderful statement followed by a most disturbing one.

First the good. Literally, “All the sins and blasphemies they may speak will be forgiven the sons of men.” Notice the plural use of son of man here to represent the general populace, as well as the declaration that all sins and blasphemies will be forgiven.

Now the bad part, all will be forgiven but one. An “eternal sin”, that of blaspheming against the Holy Spirit. In the story as far as we have read, and in this case, the Holy Spirit has never been described. It simply began at the beginning of the story, and here we have a clear statement that those who speak against it will never be forgiven. This has caused a lot of strife because people want to be forgiven, but there isn’t enough here to help us get around this one.

This is my understanding. Everyone’s actions, sins, statements, and utterances are forgiven by God. However, for those who are at their utmost against God, who reject Him with their entirety, He will respect that choice and allow them to live apart from Him, and thus remain “unforgiven.” This He does in love for the freedom He gave humanity.

This place outside of God’s presence, by choice of humanity, is what Hell truly is. However, those who are in it, have no idea that’s where they are. They exist as they always have, contentedly away from God, not knowing that compared to the joy of His presence, they are alone in agony.

However, as you’re reading this blog, you probably don’t have to worry about that.

Grace and Peace to you all.

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