Mark 3: 20-30 (NRSV)
Verse 20and the crowd came together again, so that they could not even eat. Verse 21When his family heard it, they went out to restrain him, for people were saying, "He has gone out of his mind." Verse 22And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, "He has Beelzebul, and by the ruler of the demons he casts out demons." Verse 23And he called them to him, and spoke to them in parables, "How can Satan cast out Satan? Verse 24If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. Verse 25And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. Verse 26And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but his end has come. Verse 27But 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.
Verse 28"Truly I tell you, people will be forgiven for their sins and whatever blasphemies they utter; Verse 29but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit can never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin" Verse 30for they had said, "He has an unclean spirit."
The scribes were perplexed by the actions of Jesus. What he was doing threatened to turn their world upside down. Their quick response was to label Jesus as being in league with evil powers. The sin of the Garden returns, and Jesus warns of the consequences of quick judgements before understanding what God is really about in his ministry among them. Not believing that Jesus is the Son of God among them removes the Spirit’s power to be active among them. To be in league with this Jesus means to be open to the God’s will and purpose in his ministry.
Dr. Stephen Covey suggests in his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, that we need to seek first to understand rather than to be understood. To do so takes more time, but imagine how much fear and hatred could be overcome, if together we could seek to discover what God is about in the ministries of those around us.
Beautiful savior, we celebrate your generosity and intervention in the lives of the hurting. As we seek to join you in this mission, allow us to seek first to understand rather than to respond in fear. Amen.