Mark 3 vv 20 35

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These slides accompany the video found here:
http://youtu.be/iVhKy8eUZOI

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  • Given that Christianity is so HARD and faces such difficulty, frustration and OPPOSITION … can it POSSIBLY be right?
    You must decide. But the key to it is working out the significance of the opposition you face.
    What does it ACTUALLY show? What does it ACTUALLY mean? Because the answer to THAT question will determine both what you MAKE of the opposition, and how you should rightly respond to it.
    There is no doubt that following Christ will get you opposed because in the sort of world we inhibit Christ was opposed and it is Christ we are following. So it’s going to happen.
    But your answer to the question of why it happens, what it means and where it is coming from will determine how you respond to it … and the Lord gives us a big worked example of that in the passage we’re looking at today.
    Here’s where this passage fits into the Gospel …
  • Jesus has come and preached that God’s Kingdom is at hand, so repent and believe the Good News.
    Mark has shown how that fits in with centuries of Old Testament prophecy.
    But opposition last time began to break out as soon as Jesus healed a paralytic by forgiving his sins (the prerogative of the Almighty alone) and then went home to eat with tax collectors and ‘sinners’.
    Immediately he predicted a radical break with religiosity in the language of new wine and new wineskins.
    His followers must expect opposition, arising directly from the fact that they follow Jesus, arising directly from Who He is and what He says.
    In this next immediately following section, Jesus deals with the seemingly schizophrenic clash between the power of the Gospel and the opposition His followers face because they BELIEVE n that Gospel, with the visible effect that they follow Him. Yes, the 12 are appointed to take on His mission, and all subsequent disciples follow on from them. But immediately the way He shows them, in which they will follow, results in opposition contrary to expectation and to nature (3:20-35), and (GET THIS) it is precisely against that background that the parables and the miracles of the Kingdom are set. The final section ‘the end’ in ch. 6:1-6 indicates the unity of this section which is actually all about how Jesus’s followers are to think of the persecution they face as the result of being sent out by Christ on His mission. If you are faithful to Christ – all you Roman Christians that this Gospel is written for - just expect the opposition your own Master suffered, often from the most hurtful of quarters … and here is how you understand it and DEAL with it. See the point? It’s a unified section (beginning, middle and end) with a Aristotelian unity of purpose. So having determined the question that this part of Mark’s Gospel addresses, let’s look at it to get a glimpse of the answer! How do you think of the opposition joining Christ’s mission will inevitably produce in a fallen world?
  • Jesus is at home.
    He is NOT in a hostile situation.
    He is in a situation that God had chosen carefully for Him, with people we know God chose because they were godly.
    Matthew 1:19 “Because Joseph, her husband to be, was a righteous man, and because he did not want to disgrace her, he intended to divorce her privately.”
    Luke 1:28 ff. ““Greetings, favoured one, the Lord is with you!” 29 But she was greatly troubled by his words and began to wonder about the meaning of this greeting. 30 So the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God!31 Listen: You will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David.”
    Jesus’ family situation does appear to be a bit broken … no word of His Dad … but they are good and godly people, and will want to live quiet and godly lives.
    From all that we know of them, they are poor but godly people, familiar with the workings of the Jewish religion, trying to keep its precepts and regulations, and (no doubt) properly in awe of the constituted religious authorities … who ARE hostile to Jesus.
    So NOW you begin to see the bind they are in … and Mary seems to be without a husband now to help her.
    What would YOU do?
    Your son – raised to be a good lad, work with His hands, go to Synagogue – takes on a role WAY above His station, in a socially, economically and politically troubled society, and draws crowds fulfilling a ministry for which He has not studied, to which He has NOT been formally ‘ordained’ and which annoys intensely the existing big wigs.
    v. 20: Jesus goes amongst His own people.
    He draws crowds the like of which the teachers of the Law DO not.
    He is so busy that none of His crowd or disciples (not specified) get to eat.
    And THAT is the final straw for His people.
    They went out to restrain Him (the way in chapter 5 they tried to restrain the Gadarene demoniac) … this seems to have been the way they handled what they perceived as insanity … because they said ‘εξεστη’ (That is ‘dazed’, amazed, thrown out of place, out of his mind)
    There are different sorts of opposition.
    There are different responses made BY Jesus to them.
    This is not the opposition of the religious, nor of those hostile to God, but of those who are good, and meek, and godly. In a sense, their opposition – whilst hurtful because it comes from those who are very well intentioned – is MOST hurtful because of their relationship to Jesus.
    It’s His OWN people - physically.
    They are, however, on the OUTSIDE of the Jesus movement … which means they are only His own people in a very limited sense. Jesus KNOWS what He’s saying when He teaches that a man’s enemies will be those of His own household.
    But in this case Jesus doesn’t face MALICIOUS opposition.
    This opposition doesn’t understand.
    How does He handle it?
    Even when it is sounding MOST rational – ‘you MUST eat!’ – He simply doesn’t allow Himself to be at all distracted by it. And the consequences of that at first look quite damaging.
    What His family perhaps wanted most to avoid happens next …
  • This was really bad news … they’d really wanted to avoid trouble with the ‘Spanish Inquisition’, or its first century Palestinian equivalent.
  • Five quick things to notice here …
  • Look who (by contrast to His family) Jesus is dealing with now …
    It is the bunch who since 2:1-12 have been gunning for Jesus, to do away with Him.
    His response to these people is in contrast to His simple refusal to be distracted where His folks were concerned.
    These people are actively trying to persuade others of Jesus’s origins, proclamation and power being demonic – hellish – rather than being from God.
    They KNOW their Bible – they know Jesus is fulfilling OT prophecy – but they do NOT like His preaching, they do NOT like His forgiving sin and they do not like the fact He is acting like God. It’s Who He is and what He stands for they dislike … which has implications for the Kingdom of God, so Jesus will oppose them and ridicule their case.
    And when He’s done that, He’ll teach the truth about God the people need to hear.
    Why does He chose to interact with this opposition?
    Look at who these men are, and what they are saying …
    They are the γραμματεις
    Strong’s “Scribes examined the more difficult and subtle questions of the law; added to the Mosaic law decisions of various kinds thought to elucidate its meaning and scope, and did this to the detriment of religion. Since the advice of men skilled in the law was needed in the examination in the causes and the solution of the difficult questions, they were enrolled in the Sanhedrin; and are mentioned in connection with the priests and elders of the people.”
    These were supposed to be the leaders of the people for God, but they were opposing God and His Gospel and leading people astray.
    They are saying that what God s doing through Jesus is being done by the demonic arch-rebel against God, in person.
    Jesus is going to have to address this, but He does so rationally and calmly … yet decisively.
    Jesus is taking no prisoners …
  • His argument directly attacks their proposition …
    ‘How can satan drive out satan?’
    The rest of what He says revolves around that.
    He takes their fundamental assertion head on.
    ‘So let’s think about that and how ridiculous what they are saying is’
    He calls them … He summons them – NOT awed by their standing amongst men.
    How ridiculous is it to say satan drives out satan here?
    Firstly it is ridiculous because they are arguing that satan’s kingdom is rent asunder by civil war and such a Kingdom can’t stand …
    Jesus uses the ‘for instance’ of a divided political dynasty (some of which they’ll have read about in the disasters of the annals of the Kings of Israel in the OT) which cannot stand.
    Then He extrapolates from something they know to something they OUGHT to know:
    “if Satan rises against himself and is divided, he is not able to stand and his end has come.”
    How does that support Jesus’s agenda and preaching?
    Since 1:15 Jesus has preached that the prophesied Kingdom of God that would end satan’s rule is coming in.
    There’s His first argument.
    Here’s the second …
  • If Jesus is plundering satan’s possessions (and we’ve seen Him forgiving sin, healing the sick … stuff like that which would be understood as raiding the kingdom of darkness), then what that means is that Jesus has defeated the devil and IS bringing in the Kingdom of God.
    It’s not as if Jesus is working for the devil, but ever so clearly AGAINST him!
    Now there’s something else that follows from this simple but devastating, no holds barred engagement with the legal teachers’ argument.
  • Jesus goes straight on to teach where speaking directly against God’s liberating work in the Gospel will get you.
    If you seek to discredit God’s saving work by attributing it directly to the forces of darkness and if you seek to do so publicly, teaching this to others …
    Jesus has a really, very strong warning for you …
    “ I tell you the truth, people will be forgiven for all sins, even all the blasphemies they utter. 29 But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven, but is guilty of an eternal sin” 30 (because they said, “He has an unclean spirit”).”
    This is unforgiveable sin.
    Αμαρτημα
     βλασφημίαι
    All sorts of these against the Son of Man … we’re talking here about the Lord Jesus in the role of the Heavenly figure in Daniel 7 again … these will be forgiven.
    But there’s a distinct line drawn between blaspheming Jesus and blaspheming (the way these guys have) against the Holy Spirit.
    So what have they done to blaspheme against the Holy Spirit?
    They have attributed His acts of power, mercy and Gospel grace to the devil and sought to dismiss them thereby.
    Jesus was doing these things they objected to BY the Holy Spirit.
    THEY said He was dong them as possessed by an unclean spirit to dismiss His actions and the message they brought.
    THAT is an eternal sin.
    How come?
    This seems to go counter to the teaching of the Bible that God gladly forgives the sin of those who really turn from sin to trust in Him.
    But the point is that those who commit the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit attribute the Gospel and its liberating power to the devil so never repent and ask for forgiveness of their sins through the Gospel.
    This is not an ignorant sin, but a deliberate one – deliberately and knowingly ascribing the truth and light of God to Satan’s lies and to darkness.
    Jesus leaves this sort of opponent in no doubt, and the people they might influence in no doubt either, that they have reached the point of no return and has made plain what will happen if they persist in this deliberate rejection of the truth.
  • The first pattern of opposition was from people who cared for Jesus but were not actually following Him.
    They were a distraction, personally emotionally upsetting, but with the best intentions.
    No doubt they were also a little afraid of the ruling authorities, Jewish and Roman, in days of disquiet and disruption in the state.
    Jesus is simply not deflected by their intervention.
    The second pattern of opposition was very different, it came from those who purported to know, who should have known better, who were a much more real risk of teaching people away from the Gospel and who were attributing the incoming Kingdom of God to evil and demonic agency.
    They were also dong all of this deliberately.
    Jesus responds differently to this different class of people.
    He exposes the flaws in their arguments by arguing from what was known to what was not known.
    Then He teaches truth that will seal the hearts of the hearers against their error.
    Clearly this one was a battle worth fighting.
    These folks are not just outside the followers of Jesus, they are actively trying to keep others out too.
    The dangers of that sort of opposition require refutation.
    Not personal offence, argument and revenge.
    Refutation in defence of God’s truth, that the Gospel may go on liberating the lost.
  • And then the family come back onto the scene.
    The scribes have failed.
    The family perhaps fear the stakes are therefore raised, and perhaps their fears for the consequences of what’s happened are greatly heightened.
    Their persistence in distracting Him will require refutation … and we are about to see why.
  • Mark consistently portrays the physical family of Jesus as outside the circle of His followers.
    In vv. 20-21 they were outside.
    Again they are standing outside.
    That word ‘outside’ is getting some emphasis here!
    There has been no mention of Jesus’ family in this Gospel, and they appear precious little throughout it.
    They remain – in Mark – completely outside the Jesus Movement.
    They are at best sceptical onlookers … and in these verses their outsider-ship is emphatically underlined.
    Mark, the Lord’s brother, is going to be very prominent in the Jerusalem church through the middle years of the first century … which makes this outsider-ness of the Lord’s physical family the more remarkable.
    And there they are …. Outside, summoning Jesus away from what He does in God’s Name.
  • This summoning Jesus from the outside begins to exert influence upon the group on the inside …
    Jesus’ mother came.
    Jesus’ brothers came.
    These are asserting that His very successful ministry is madness.
    You are MAD.
    Humanity tends to explain as madness unusual things it can’t understand.
    We can’t live with the limits of human understanding, feel threatened and seek solace and comfort for our own cognitive failure by attributing madness to things that we simply don’t ‘get’.
    This looks like mud being slung at the Gospel here now, so Jesus is going to respond.
    He will respond by teaching a truth they don’t yet get …
  • Jesus has come proclaiming in the most urgent way that the Kingdom of God is at hand and that everyone should repent and believe the Gospel, expressing that by the sort of repentant lifestyle that choses to leave all that encumbers a person and follow Him.
    When family distract … here is the consequence.
    Doing the will of God makes you family with Jesus.
    Distracting a person from that is a matter so serious it leads to you being un-family’d.
    The most important thing we could ever want for our children is that they would prioritise their following of Jesus.
  • How do you deal with opposition?
    Jesus consistently handles it in this passage with a clear eye to where it is coming from and to the threat or otherwise that it poses to the Gospel, and to people’s being lead and encouraged to trust or distrust it. He views opposition not through the lens of the hurt or upset it costs Him, but in terms of the impact this has on the advance of the Gospel.
    He is NOT reluctant to either let it go (without being distracted from His purpose) or to take it on, decisively and determinedly and destroying it.
    It all depends where it is coming from and where it will lead.
    It is NOT about how it makes Him feel, or what He personally wants to do to the person or persons opposing Him.
    Well, we have to be careful here. There is a tendency, isn’t there, for opposition to make people think there must be something in it … even if in reality there isn’t? That seems to be the way OUR society works, and I wonder how things went next for Jesus.
    You see, if a man’s ‘nearest and dearest’ (after the flesh) don’t support His ministry, and if the studied and learned experts in religion don’t support Him … surely this opposition MUST have made some of Jesus’ newly found followers also wonder if He could really be from God?
    Which may well be why Jesus turns immediately to the parable of the soils …
  • Mark 3 vv 20 35

    1. 1. Welcome to Grace! Even before the mountains came into existence, or you brought the world into being, you were the eternal God. Yes, in your eyes a thousand years are like yesterday that quickly passes, or like one of the divisions of the night time. Psalm 90:2,4
    2. 2. Mark 3:20-35 • Introduction “Given that Christianity is so HARD and faces such difficulty, frustration and OPPOSITION … can it POSSIBLY be right?” “your answer to the question of why opposition is happening, what it means and where it is coming from will determine how you respond to opposition and how you answer this question … and the Lord gives us a big worked example of how to do that in the passage we’re looking at today.”
    3. 3. Mark 3:13 – 6:6 • Beginning (3:13-35) – Appointing of 12 Apostles (3:13-19) – Opposition from the family (3:20-21) – Opposition from religious leaders (3:22-30) – Opposition from family again (3:31-35) • Middle (4:1-5:43) – Parable: The Sower (4:1-20) – Parable: The Lamp (4:21-25) – Parable: The seed growing secretly (4:26-29) – Parable: The mustard seed (4:30-34) – Miracle: Stilling the storm (4:35-41) – Miracle: Driving out Legion (5:1-20) – Miracle: Healing of sick woman (5:25-34) – Miracle: Raising Jairus’s daughter (5:21-43) • End (6:1-6) – Opposition from family and friends (6:1-6)
    4. 4. Mark 3:20-35 • Introduction • Family opposition, vv. 20-21 “Now Jesus went home, and a crowd gathered so that they were not able to eat. 21 When his family heard this they went out to restrain him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.”
    5. 5. Mark 3:20-35 • Introduction • Family opposition, vv. 20-21 • Religious leaders’ opposition, vv. 22- 30
    6. 6. Mark 3:22-30 The experts in the law who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and, “By the ruler of demons he casts out demons.” 23 So he called them and spoke to them in parables: “How can Satan cast out Satan? 24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom will not be able to stand. 25 If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. 26 And if Satan rises against himself and is divided, he is not able to stand and his end has come. 27 But no one is able to enter a strong man’s house and steal his property unless he first ties up the strong man. Then he can thoroughly plunder his house. 28 I tell you the truth, people will be forgiven for all sins, even all the blasphemies they utter. 29 But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven, but is guilty of an eternal sin” 30 (because they said, “He has an unclean spirit”).
    7. 7. Mark 3:22-30 The experts in the law who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and, “By the ruler of demons he casts out demons.” spirit”).
    8. 8. Mark 3:22-30 The experts in the law who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and, “By the ruler of demons he casts out demons.” 23 So he called them and spoke to them in parables: “How can Satan cast out Satan? • 24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom will not be able to stand. 25 If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. 26 And if Satan rises against himself and is divided, he is not able to stand and his end has come.
    9. 9. Mark 3:22-30 The experts in the law who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and, “By the ruler of demons he casts out demons.” 23 So he called them and spoke to them in parables: “How can Satan cast out Satan? • 24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom will not be able to stand. 25 If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. 26 And if Satan rises against himself and is divided, he is not able to stand and his end has come. • 27 But no one is able to enter a strong man’s house and steal his property unless he first ties up the strong man. Then he can thoroughly plunder his house.
    10. 10. Mark 3:22-30 The experts in the law who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and, “By the ruler of demons he casts out demons.” 28 I tell you the truth, people will be forgiven for all sins, even all the blasphemies they utter. 29 But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven, but is guilty of an eternal sin” 30 (because they said, “He has an unclean spirit”).
    11. 11. Mark 3:20-35 • Introduction • Family opposition, vv. 20-21 • Religious leaders’ opposition, vv. 22-30
    12. 12. Mark 3:20-35 • Introduction • Family opposition, vv. 20-21 • Religious leaders’ opposition, vv. 22-30 • Family opposition, vv. 31-35
    13. 13. Mark 3:20-35 • Introduction • Family opposition, vv. 20-21 • Religious leaders’ opposition, vv. 22-30 • Family opposition, vv. 31-35 “Then Jesus’ mother and his brothers came. Standing outside, they sent word to him, to summon him.
    14. 14. Mark 3:20-35 • Introduction • Family opposition, vv. 20-21 • Religious leaders’ opposition, vv. 22-30 • Family opposition, vv. 31-35 “Then Jesus’ mother and his brothers came. Standing outside, they sent word to him, to summon him. 32 A crowd was sitting around him and they said to him, “Look, your mother and your brothers are outside looking for you.”
    15. 15. Mark 3:20-35 • Introduction • Family opposition, vv. 20-21 • Religious leaders’ opposition, vv. 22-30 • Family opposition, vv. 31-35 “Then Jesus’ mother and his brothers came. Standing outside, they sent word to him, to summon him. 32 A crowd was sitting around him and they said to him, “Look, your mother and your brothers are outside looking for you.” 33 He answered them and said, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” 34 And looking at those who were sitting around him in a circle, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 35 For whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”
    16. 16. Mark 3:20-35 • Introduction • Family opposition, vv. 20-21 • Religious leaders’ opposition, vv. 22-30 • Family opposition, vv. 31-35 • Conclusion

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