Tuesday, March 27, 2012


And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, "He is possessed by Beelzebub, and by [the help of] the prince of demons He is casting out demons." 23 And He summoned them to Him, and said to them in parables, "How can Satan drive out Satan?  24 And if a house is divided-split into factions and rebelling-against itself that house will not be able to last. 26 And if Satan has raised an insurrection against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but is [surely] coming to an end. 27 But no one can go into a strong man's house and ransack his household goods right and left and seize them as plunder, unless he first binds the strong man; then indeed he may [thoroughly] plunder his house. 28 Truly and solemnly I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever abusive and blasphemous things they utter; 29 But whoever speaks abusively against or maliciously misrepresents the Holy Spirit can never get forgiveness, but is guilty of and is in the grasp of an everlasting trespass." 30 For they persisted in saying, "He has an unclean spirit. (Mark 3:22-30).

22 The teachers of the law had come down from Jerusalem, indicating that the word about Jesus was spreading and causing concern in high places. Their analysis of Jesus' condition was "he is possessed by Beelzebub!" (i.e., "the prince of demons," or Satan). They accused Jesus and Satan of being in collusion with each other.

23-27 Jesus replied to the charge by making a comparison. His argument is as follows: I have just cast out demons. Now if I am doing this by Satan's power, then Satan is actually working against himself. But that would be absurd. Just as a house or a kingdom cannot stand if it is divided against itself or opposes itself, so Satan will bring about his own destruction by working against himself. In essence, Jesus was saying two things: (1) he cannot be i collusion with Satan; and (2) he is actually destroying Satan's work, which means he is more powerful than Satan.
          By the parable of v.27, Jesus implies that he is tying up Satan in order to deliver from bondage those under Satan's control. That was, after all, one of his main tasks (1 John 3:8).

28-30 Jesus follows this story with a solemn pronouncement: forgiveness is available for all the sins and blasphemies of humans except for blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. What is that sin? Verse 30 suggests an explanation. Jesus had done what any unprejudiced person would have acknowledged as a good thing. He had freed an unfortunate man from the power and bondage of evil through the power of the Holy Spirit, but the teachers of the law ascribed it to the power of Satan. To call light darkness or good evil or Jesus' work satanic because of prejudice in one's heart is the worst sin of all.
          The words of v.29 have caused great anxiety and pain in the history of the church. Many have wondered whether they have committed the "unpardonable sin." Surely what Jesus is speaking of here is not an isolated act but a settled condition of the soul-the result of a long history of repeated and willful acts of sin through hardness of heart (cf. 3:5). On the other hand, any who are troubled about this sin give evidence that they have not committed it. If the person involved cannot be forgiven, it is not so much that God refuses to forgive as it is the sinner who refuses to allow him.
[NIV BIBLE COMMENTARY Volume 2: New Testament].



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