Mark 3:20-30 – Satan Fighting Satan?
Jesus came home and, as usual, a crowd gathered—so many making demands on him that there wasn’t even time to eat. His friends heard what was going on and went to rescue him, by force if necessary. They suspected he was getting carried away with himself.
The religion scholars from Jerusalem came down spreading rumors that he was working black magic, using devil tricks to impress them with spiritual power. Jesus confronted their slander with a story: “Does it make sense to send a devil to catch a devil, to use Satan to get rid of Satan? A constantly squabbling family disintegrates. If Satan were fighting Satan, there soon wouldn’t be any Satan left. Do you think it’s possible in broad daylight to enter the house of an awake, able-bodied man, and walk off with his possessions unless you tie him up first? Tie him up, though, and you can clean him out.
“Listen to this carefully. I’m warning you. There’s nothing done or said that can’t be forgiven. But if you persist in your slanders against God’s Holy Spirit, you are repudiating the very One who forgives, sawing off the branch on which you’re sitting, severing by your own perversity all connection with the One who forgives.” He gave this warning because they were accusing him of being in league with Evil.
There’s a car in the parking lot of the rec center that I see quite often that has a bumper sticker that has Alabama and Tennessee logos with the words “A house divided.” I am thankful that in my family, our sports allegiances do not have quite the rivalry as Alabama and Tennessee, but there’s a bit of it still. My team being Colorado, my wife’s being Auburn. Of course, its not much of a rivalry either in them playing or in the quality of the teams at this point (hopefully CU will start to get back on the upswing). But there’s a little bit of a house divided in that still.
Jesus lifts up this challenge about a house divided when responding to the silly accusations that he is in league with the devil (considering he kept casting out demons) with “a constantly squabbling family disintegrates.”So very true. While Jesus was talking about these ridiculous claims, it is applicable to so much more. It is applicable to our immediate families and to our businesses, our schools, and our faith communities. I have seen it too many times in churches where constant squabbles between a few or between many just destroys a community. Read CS Lewis’ book, The Screwtape Letters, to see what sounds like a very real way that the devil would love to break down the church – just get a few people squabbling and the rest can fall if its not taken care of.
Our first calling is to seek not our own desires or our own way, but instead the Kingdom of God…seek ye first…in the Gospel of John, Jesus prays for the church to be One just as he and God and the Spirit are one. There is far too much division already in the church, in our country, and in so many other areas – let’s seek to be people of unity and of one heart for the Kingdom.