1 Feb. Mark 3:20-30

1 Feb. Jesus - Spirit of God or 'Lord of the Flies'?

"Then Jesus went home [to Capernaum], but again a crowd gathered. There were so many people that Jesus and his followers could not eat."

"When his family heard this, they went to get him because they thought he was out of his mind."

"But the teachers of the law from Jerusalem were saying, 'Beelzebul is living inside him! He uses power from the ruler of demons to force demons out of people.'"

"So Jesus called the people together and taught them with stories. He said, 'Satan will not force himself out of people. A kingdom that is divided cannot continue, and a family that is divided cannot continue.'..."

"I tell you the truth, all sins that people do, and all the things people say against God can be forgiven. But anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; he is guilty of a sin that continues for ever.'"

"Jesus said this because the teachers of the law said that he had an evil spirit inside him."

          (Mark 3:20-30)



In today's passage from Mark's gospel, Jesus went back to his home in Capernaum. His mother Mary and his brothers arrived from Nazareth (about 30 miles / 48 km away) as they thought he was out of his mind.

It's interesting to realise that one of these family members was James (in Hebrew, ‘Jacob’), the brother of Jesus (see Matthew 13:55), who initially misunderstood the nature of Jesus’s mission (see John 7:2-5), but later became the leader of the Jerusalem church shortly after Jesus’s death and resurrection in 30AD (see Acts 1:14 & 12:17). He was one of the few people to whom Jesus appeared on his own after the resurrection (see 1 Corinthians 15:7).

Back in Capernaum, some teachers of the Jewish law from Jerusalem thought that Jesus was possessed by the prince of demons, ‘Beelzebul’ (see 2 Kings 1:2, where the evil spirit Baal-Zebul (‘Prince Baal’) is referred to in mockery as ‘Baal-Zebub’ (Hebrew for ‘Lord of the Flies’).

Jesus responded that they were insulting the Holy Spirit – an unforgiveable sin. Do we do the same when we reject the fulness of the Holy Spirit in our lives?

Fortunately, like Jesus's brother James, it's never too late to change our minds.

The photo shows remains of the 4th century AD synagogue at Capernaum.

You can read more about Jesus's brother James @ The Bible Journey | The Letter of James to the Jewish believers

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