Mark 3:19–35 NRSV – 3:20 and the crowd came together again, so that they could not even eat. 3:21 When his family heard it, they went out to restrain him, for people were saying, “He has gone out of his mind.” 3:22 And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, “He has Beelzebul, and by the ruler of the demons he casts out demons.” 3:23 And he called them to him, and spoke to them in parables, “How can Satan cast out Satan? 3:24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 3:25 And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. 3:26 And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but his end has come. 3:27 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. 3:28 “Truly I tell you, people will be forgiven for their sins and whatever blasphemies they utter; 3:29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit can never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”— 3:30 for they had said, “He has an unclean spirit.” 3:31 Then his mother and his brothers came; and standing outside, they sent to him and called him. 3:32 A crowd was sitting around him; and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers and sisters are outside, asking for you.” 3:33 And he replied, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” 3:34 And looking at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 3:35 Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”
Summary – In this passage of Mark we have the teaching of Christ’s new authority as a new Adam in the world (casting out Satan). This set in the midst of an encounter with Jesus’s own biological family (his mother and half-brothers and half-sisters). They were trying to keep Jesus from embarrassment or themselves from shame. “For people were saying, ‘He has gone out of his mind.'” The Scribes said He had a demon. It is in just this setting that we have a one of the strongest statements of Jesus’s authority to bind Satan and take the rightful place of the True Ruler of the World. Christ reigns and those who do the will of God are His brothers and sisters and mother.
Insight – In this season of Pentecost the Gospel texts show our empowerment to accomplish God’s will in the world. In the previous Gospel readings of John 16 and John 17 Christ promised and delivered judgment on the former “Ruler of this World.” Satan had authority in the world prior to Christ. His authority came through deception and lies at the Fall of Adam and Even (Gen. 3). He was legally in a place in which He had authority since Adam yielded authority and power to Satan. As Mark 3:27 makes clear Christ came to “tie up” or “bind” the Strong Man, Satan so that “the house can be plundered” (v27). See also Hebrews 2:14-15 – He rendered “powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil” and Colossians 2:15, “When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.” Because of this we have the authority in Him to accomplish the mission God has given us in the world. We must believe that Christ has now “all authority in heaven and on earth” (Mt. 28:19) and no demonic or Satanic force has authority. Though Satanic forces have some power through temptation, they have no rightful authority.
Catechism – Who are the brothers, sisters and mothers of Christ? Those who do the will of God.
Discussion – How much authority does the devil have in the world today? How much power does the devil have in the world?
Prayer – Almighty Father of our Lord Jesus, you sent Christ into the world that the world might be saved through Him. Through His sinless life and death for sins, you provided an atonement for all the fallen race of Adam and through His resurrection and glorious ascension you placed Jesus as the supreme Lord and King of all heaven and earth. Grant that we may trust Him and not give power to the defeated dark forces in the world by our unbelief. In the name of the only King, Jesus. Amen.