Believing & Belonging


February 14, 2021

Mark 3:20-35 (intercalation = sandwich)

  • Mark 3:20
  • Jesus’ family came to take legal control of Jesus thinking he had gone insane. Jesus’ brothers did not believe he was the Messiah (John 7:5).
  • This part of the account concludes in verse 21 and doesn’t pick up again until verse 31.
  • Mark 3:22-30
  • Scribes – hybrid of religious scholar and lawyer
  • Scribes would have known the prophecies spoken about the coming Messiah (Isaiah 35:5-6, Isaiah 61:1, and hundreds more), yet they secretly whispered doubts into the crowds, accusing Jesus of being empowered by Satan.
  • Jesus responds directly:
    • How can Satan cast out himself?
    • A divided Kingdom can not stand
    • Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven
      • John Piper and Henry Alford say, that blasphemy of Holy Spirit… “It is not a particular type of sin which is here condemned” – like, I did this or that – “but a definite act showing a state of sin, and that state a willful determine opposition to the present power of the Holy Spirit, and this as shown by its fruit, blasphemy.”
      • Kent Hughes says, “ It is not the ignorant blasphemer on the street who is in danger of committing the unforgivable sin, but the man or woman in the Church who knows the Scriptures, has heard the Word held forth with accuracy, has seen something of the miraculous power of God in changed lives, and yet rejects it all, even identifying what he has seen with the power of Satan… The warning is particularly to those who have grown up in the Church and may even have some theological education, but have willfully rejected it and in their heart of hearts attribute supposed Christian reality to evil.”
      • Chuck Swindoll “If this blasphemy is ever acknowledged as sin, it can be forgiven (3:28). Sin becomes unpardonable when the guilty one rejects the path that leads to pardon, continues in rebellion, and refuses to bow in submission before God. Therefore, a person receiving the penalty of the “unpardonable sin” has condemned himself. This sin is a chronically rebellious and continuing attitude, not a single act.”


  • Mark 3:31-35
  • WHO IS JESUS? Is he crazy? Is he demonic?
    • C.S. Lewis is so often quoted, “ I’m trying here to prevent anyone from saying the really silly thing that people often say about Him: “I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.” That’s the one thing we mustn’t say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said wouldn’t be a great moral teacher. He’d either be a lunatic—on a level with the man who says he’s a poached egg—or else he’d be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But don’t let us come with any patronising nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He hasn’t left that open to us. He didn’t intend to.”
    • For those who repent of their sins and believe on Jesus – family forever.
    • For those who continue in their rebellion, without repentance or faith – enemies of God forever.


    • With repentance and faith, let us continue to follow Jesus together.
    • As one family, let us seek Jesus together and walk in faithful obedience together.


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