World English Bible translation
He came into a house.3:20 The multitude came together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread. 3:21 When his friends heard it, they went out to seize him: for they said, "He is insane." 3:22 The scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, "He has Beelzebul," and, "By the prince of the demons he casts out the demons."
3:23He summoned them, and said to them in parables, "How can Satan cast out Satan? 3:24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 3:25 If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. 3:26 If Satan has risen up against himself, and is divided, he can't stand, but has an end. 3:27 But no one can enter into the house of the strong man to plunder, unless he first binds the strong man; and then he will plunder his house. 3:28 Most assuredly I tell you, all their sins will be forgiven to the sons of men, and their blasphemies with which they may blaspheme; 3:29 but whoever may blaspheme against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin" 3:30 - because they said, "He has an unclean spirit."
In Lesson 12 we saw how there were some of the Pharisees who became antagonistic to Jesus because of Jesus' teaching about the Sabbath. They had begun to conspire with the Herodians, the factions aligns with Herod the Tetrarch. In Today's Lesson, we see another major group lining up against Jesus, the scribes.
In the confusion of all that was going on in Galilee, a delegation of scribes came up from Jerusalem to investigate the ministry of Jesus. They investigated what they could about Jesus and the things that He was doing and they came to the conclusion that Jesus performed miracles by an evil power. They acknowledged that there was some supernatural power in the work of Christ. They reasoned that the power that was behind His miracles could not have come from God. Jesus did not follow the Sabbath rules, as they understood them and Jesus and His disciples did not fast in the same way as the Pharisees. If the power did not come from God, it must come from the evil one, Satan.
It is easy to look backward at these scribes and see that they were wrong. But, these were sincere men who were using their own best judgment. Jesus had come to Galilee and His ministry turned all of the old rules upside down. He had no formal training nor did any of His followers. He claimed to have authority because He was the Son of God. If a person does not believe that Jesus was the Anointed One of God then the only explanation for some of the things that He did was that He was in league with the devil.
Jesus was who He claimed to be, but they could not see these things because it had not been revealed to them by the Spirit of God. Their own reason led them to one conclusion, but their reason proved to be wrong. If the power that worked through Jesus came from evil, He would not be casting our demons and healing the sick. If evil were divided against itself, it can not stand. But they were not looking at the results of what Jesus was accomplishing. They were judging the means that He was using. To their way of reasoning, the way that Jesus went about doing things was wrong and so the ends that He achieved were beside the point.
We are on dangerous ground when we feel that we know how God acts in every situation. These men thought they knew how the Messiah would come and what he would do. Jesus did not conform to their image of a prophet. He ate with sinners. He healed on the Sabbath. Most of all, He did not respect their positions and authority. Jesus didn't work through the proper religious channels. If this rogue from Galilee was the Messiah, then everything that they had lived for was wrong, was worthless.
So they sat in judgment of the work of the Holy Spirit and concluded it was evil. Jesus said that those who blaspheme against the Holy Spirit can never be forgiven, they are guilty of an eternal sin. It is the work of the Spirit today that saves us. It is the Spirit that baptizes us into the Body of Christ. It is in the Spirit that we are sealed until the Day of Judgment. If we look on the work of the Holy Spirit of God and call it evil, we can never be saved. It is only through surrender to the Spirit of God that we can be saved.
We live in an upside-down world. If we rely on our own reason, we will perish. It is only through God's revelations that we can see the world as it truly exist. Are you willing to allow God to reveal Himself to you today? Are you willing to allow God to judge good and evil, not you?
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