Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the three-year lectionary.
In Mark chapter 3 Jesus is portrayed as spending time preaching, teaching, and healing people. He has become so very busy that his family is worried about him. After all, when someone is involved in a work frenzy like that, after a while, all will fall apart. Disappointment and even offense will follow.
In the midst of this time, some of the scribes say that Jesus is working in the power of the devil. They say he is using demonic power to cast out demons. It is some kind of deception.
Jesus’ response is to call the scribes to himself. He doesn’t allow them to go on with their slander. He also doesn’t go to find the offenders. He calls them to him, and, for some reason, they come.
In the presence of some witnesses Jesus tells the scribes that they are confusing the power of God with the power of the devil. He is clear that there is no forgiveness for those who say God is the devil. All sorts of sins can be forgiven. However, for those who mistake God and Satan, there is no more forgiveness.
Occasionally people will come to me in fear. They have read this passage in Mark and are worried that they have sinned against the Holy Spirit. Yet they normally have no need to fear. Why is this? If they are afraid that they have offended God, they have not been saying He is Satan. Those who are utterly unconcerned have reason for concern. Those who are concerned apparently have repentance. They can expect the Lord’s forgiveness in their lives.
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