Tuesday, May 28, 2013
“And he called them to him, and spoke to them in parables, ‘How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but his end has come. But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his property without first tying up the strong man; then indeed the house can be plundered.
‘Truly I tell you, people will be forgiven for their sins and whatever blasphemies they utter; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit can never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin’— for they had said, ‘He has an unclean spirit.’”
Sometimes Jesus speaks plainly, like, “Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister” (Mark 3:35). Or, the Beatitudes from the Sermon on the Mount in which Jesus reinterprets the old law. And then Jesus speaks not so plainly, often in parables that must be read over more than once while also reading commentaries to better understand. The parables from Mark 3:23-30 are more like proverbs because of the “If this, then that…” statements. Three times Jesus speaks in this fashion. Jesus’ main point seems to be that anything divided against itself cannot stand, whether it’s a kingdom, a house, or evil personified. If this were interpreted to fit today’s pop culture, Jesus would say, “BOOM!” to the scribes and everyone else listening by saying that he is the one who stands against evil. The good news? Jesus is evil’s mortal enemy. Jesus has the power to cast out that which seeks to divide and conquer God’s people. So, if God is for us, who can be against us?
Prayer: I pray that today and every day we trust that you, God, are the only one who can cast out that which seeks to divide and conquer us. Help us to go into the world doing your will alongside the trust we have in you. In Jesus’ powerful and holy name, Amen.
(Queue that well-known Chris Tomlin song…)