Focal Passage: Mark
Have you ever been
misunderstood or misrepresented? Has anyone ever twisted your words or motives
and used them against you?
I remember a time in my
ministry when I learned that some local ministers were listening to tapes of my
sermons in an effort to discredit my ministry. I was shocked and hurt at the
time, but it was a good lesson for me. It reminded me to think before I speak
and to be ready to give an account for my words.
The earthly ministry of
Jesus was surrounded by constant controversy. Many people misunderstood Him.
The things He did and said in love were used to attack Him in hate!
As we saw in last week’s
lesson, the religious leaders had no use for Jesus (Matthew 9:9-13).
passage for today shows Jesus being misunderstood not only by the religious
leaders, but by His own family as well.
Jesus’ family feared that He
had lost his mind.
Although this part of the
story is not developed, they probably “went to take charge of Him” in order to
care for Him and possibly protect Him from being embarrassed.
The teachers of the law,
however, seemed to be more sinister in their response to Jesus.
They determined that He was
possessed by Beelzebub. “Beelzebub” is a Hebrew word meaning “Lord of the
flies.” The Greek equivalent is “Beelzeboul” which means “dung god” or “god of
the dung heaps.”
I think you get the picture
of how these people felt about Jesus and His ministry!
The religious folks accused
Jesus of doing Satan’s work. Jesus responded that Satan never drives demons out
of people because he uses them to control their lives.
Jesus cast out demons by the
power of the Holy Spirit.
That is why Jesus told the
teachers of the law that they had blasphemed the Spirit of God by speaking
irreverently about God’s work and calling it evil.
As a pastor, I am often
asked, “What is the unforgivable sin?”
The unforgivable sin, as I
understand it based on this text, is not an act that is committed; it is a way
of life that tells God He is not wanted in the person’s life.
Hebrews 10:29 leaves us with
this question, “How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be
punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an
unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has
insulted the Spirit of grace?”