Notes On Mark’s Gospel (37)

“On Your Mark”

The way, the truth and the life!
The way, the truth and the life!

Ya Gotta Serve Somebody (Chapter 3 Verses 20-30)

The blasphemous slander against Jesus is answered with a parable (v23). The situation is dramatic, crowds gather to hear the response. The Son of God crushes his adversaries. He bids them think (v23), calmly about what they had been saying, is Satan really going to cast himself out? You do not need to be a spiritual giant to work out the answer to that one do you? Any kingdom that is divided cannot stand (vv24-25). If it is split the one half destroys the other half. But what the Jews are stating in their accusation is, that Satan, the ruler of his kingdom, is divided against his own subjects, if that were so, how much more true would Jesus answer be? His kingdom would not stand for five minutes, if that were a reality (v26). But does not he, Satan himself, understand this only two well? I mean what a master he is at driving wedges between Christians and Churches? If he can divide us, he knows only too well we cannot stand. Therefore how much more we need to strive to keep the unity we have been given in Christ (John 17.23; Romans 15.5; Ephesians 4.3; Colossians 3.14). To put others before ourselves, to be mostly in the main things instead of majoring on minors (Ephesians 4.27; James 4.7; 1Peter 5.8; 1John 3.8).

In fact the victory has already been won (v27). The strong man, Satan, has been bound, Jesus whipped and silenced him in the desert (Mark 1.12-13), And therefore is able to raid, and to empty his house. To set free those whom he has held captive (Isaiah 49.25; 2Timothy 2.26; Hebrews 2.14). None of what Jesus teaches here would make the slightest bit of sense, if Satan were not the personal being he is demonstrated to be throughout the entirety of Scripture from Genesis three and onwards. These people whom Jesus sets free are not out-patients from some mental institution. The question is, whose side are we on, who do we serve (Luke 11.23)? The victory Jesus accomplishes over Satan is won as a man, in the power of the Holy Spirit, his answer to the accusation of being possessed by the devil is, no, on the contrary, he is possessed by the Spirit of God. This the great Champion of God, to whom Satan has no answer, has nothing on Jesus (John 14.30), a man full of God’s Spirit and power (Colossians 2.9; Acts 2.22; 10.38). Jesus issues a solemn warning here (vv28- 29), for anyone who would tamper with evil, there are real dangers. Keep close to Jesus, that is the only safe place (James 4.8).

(© James R Hamilton, written September, 1996)

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