LETTING HEAVEN IN
Creator God, Alpha and Omega, first and last: I wait in anticipation to receive fresh grace from You today.
Read Mark 3:20–35
Jesus Accused by His Family and by Teachers of the Law
20 Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. 21 When his family[a] heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.”
22 And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebul! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons.”
23 So Jesus called them over to him and began to speak to them in parables: “How can Satan drive out Satan? 24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. 26 And if Satan opposes himself and is divided, he cannot stand; his end has come. 27 In fact, no one can enter a strong man’s house without first tying him up. Then he can plunder the strong man’s house. 28 Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, 29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.”
30 He said this because they were saying, “He has an impure spirit.”
31 Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. 32 A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, “Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.”
33 “Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked.
34 Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 35 Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”
- Mark 3:21 Or his associates
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectRead and reflect on Ephesians 6:10-18. How can God’s armor help you today?
‘He’s crazy,’ says Jesus’ family. ‘We’ll take care of Him’ (21). ‘He’s crazy,’ say the religious leaders, ‘and we know the deep, dark cause of it’ (22). Though they, of course, were also thinking in a rather different way: ‘We’ll take care of Him’ (6). Misunderstanding and opposition to the good news Jesus brings are normal.
But through Jesus, heaven – God’s kingdom – breaks into the lives of the demon-possessed. Their joy in freedom must be unspeakable. But the religious leaders – who should know better – ascribe to Satan the work of the grace of God. That’s unforgiveable (29). Their minds are so entrenched that there’s no way they’re coming to God for forgiveness – they’re in danger of putting themselves far beyond that possibility.
Through Jesus, heaven breaks into the thinking and priorities of all those listening to Him. In heaven, what will matter most is not human family relationships, but allegiance to Jesus. So, let’s head toward heaven now by getting this particular balance right (35).
Our communities are full of young people who are unchurched. How might you share the love of Jesus and help bring spiritual freedom to a young person you know?
God of signs and wonders, stars and angels, I remember my brothers and sisters in Christ around the world who face such difficulty for following You. Sustain and enable them to stand strong for You.