Mark 3:22-30 Watch Your Step

Wile e Coyote steps off a cliff

A step too far!

We join Jesus today as He is healing people from diseases and casting out demons. Mark doesn’t give us a location for this encounter, but it could have been anywhere and anytime in Jesus’ ministry. This was what He did on a daily basis.

Mark tells us that the scribes, who came from Jerusalem, were watching what was going on from a little way away from Jesus. They were spreading their poisonous words through the crowd. Essentially trying to turn the crowd away from Jesus. Jesus was not unaware of what they were saying, even if they were out of earshot.

Mark reports that Jesus called them to Himself. I would have liked to see their faces when He did this. Were they arrogant because they believed what they were saying, or sheepish because of being caught? What did the people think as He called them to Himself? Was their campaign effective in planting seeds of doubt, or were the people ignoring what they were saying? Jesus certainly wasn’t ignoring what they were saying!

They could say anything they wanted about Jesus and He took it. He answered each of the charges they would bring throughout His life, but this one needed special attention. This one was unforgivable! They were slandering the Holy Spirit. All of Jesus’ works were done through the Holy Spirit, so when they labeled the author of those works as the Devil, they were calling the Holy Spirit Satan. BAD move there boys!

When Jesus addressed them He didn’t go straight for the kill shot. He drew them in with a question first. “How can this be? Wouldn’t that be impossible? If you think about it, what you are saying would mean an end to Satan!” Did this cause them to rethink their assumptions? Was Jesus giving them new information they hadn’t considered when He said, “A kingdom divided against itself cannot stand”?

Just in case it was, He brought it down to where they lived. Everyone understands being robbed. We might not individually experience it, but it is something that all of us contemplate at some time. Why would we have locks if we didn’t think about it?

Jesus equated Satan with a strong man. He didn’t dismiss him as easily conquered. He portrayed him as someone needing to be bound before what he held could be taken. Jesus was definitely taking things from him. He was taking back the hearts and souls of men Satan had enslaved. So Jesus was telling them that He was strong enough to bind up Satan and willing to stick around to take whatever He wanted from right under his nose. PRAISE GOD for that!

Now Jesus goes in for the “kill shot.” “Truly I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the children of man, and whatever blasphemies they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin” (verses 28-29). I can just imagine the steel in His eyes when He said this. I wonder what the scribes faces looked like. Were they red with indignation or white with fear? Did they realize they had just crossed into the land of no return? Was Jesus warning them of the boundary they were bumping up against, or pointing out the line they had just crossed over? I just had an image of Wile e Coyote pop into my head where he has just run off a cliff and doesn’t realize it until the Road Runner draws his attention to the fact that he is standing in midair. Kind of like our scribes that day. There is no turning back once you reach that point. The only option is going DOWN!

I wonder how many in the crowd got the message too. Did those “infected” by the scribes words rethink what they had heard? Did any of them come close to the line Jesus was pointing at? Did they recognize the analogy Jesus was using about binding Satan? Do we? Because that is exactly what He did. He bound him up so tightly that we DON’T have to fear him! We simply turn to the one who plundered what he had acquired in the first place.

Satan didn’t bind God to take all that God had for his own. God gave man dominion over the earth and everything in it in when He placed him in the Garden of Eden. God also gave man free will and man CHOSE to hand everything given to him over to Satan in the garden. Satan hid the “fine print” in that bargain from man.

When Satan rebelled against God in Heaven, he LOST! He was thrown down to Earth where he was given dominion through the actions of man. Satan’s dominion over the earth doesn’t last forever and it ENDED for the believer when they chose Jesus’ Kingdom over this present world’s kingdom. Our born again spirit is free of Satan’s control, even though we are still physically walking in territory controlled by him. Satan DOESN’T have ultimate or unlimited power, but he does have control over the minds and direction of those not surrendered to Jesus. With that power, he wreaks havoc wherever and whenever he can. This too will end. It’s only a matter of time.

Father God, thank You for the promise to put a final end to Satan’s schemes. Thank You that I am free of them and don’t have to bow down to him as ruler of my life. I gave that throne to Jesus! I NEVER want to even come close to the line Jesus pointed out to the scribes in our story. I truly believe that, because of Who is on the throne in my heart and my love for You, that You will keep me from that fatal mistake.

Please guard my children’s hearts that have strayed from You. Please don’t let them step across that line either. I want so deeply for them to have a way and an opportunity to come back to You, or to truly come to You in the first place. For my grandchildren, draw them to Yourself with tenderness and urgency. We never know how long we have before our last chance to make the most important decision of our eternity expires. Our last breath here on earth ends our opportunity to choose. Don’t let them wait too long. I would also LOVE to see them make the choice I know is best. I would love to see them living lives that glorify You. I’ll keep living out our relationship right in front of them and gently posing questions that make them think. Thank You for the opportunities You have brought into my life to introduce some of Your miracles to them. Show me how to plough their hearts and break up the soil so the seeds can sink deeper. Plough mine too where it has become hardened. I’m ashamed to admit that there are quite a few of those places. Thank You for never giving up on me. Help me never give up too.

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