A House Divided
Then the multitude came together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread. But when His own people heard about this, they went out to lay hold of Him, for they said, “He is out of His mind.” And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, “He has Beelzebub,” and, “By the ruler of the demons He casts out demons.”
So He called them to Himself and said to them in parables: “How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself, and is divided, he cannot stand, but has an end. No one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. And then he will plunder his house.
“Assuredly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation”— because they said, “He has an unclean spirit.” /// Mark 3:20-30
The disciples' life with Jesus was like following a moving kingdom of God. Everywhere He went, He was displacing demonic strongholds and confronting bad doctrine. In Mark, chapter 3 He releases His disciples to do the same. As one of His disciples, you are called to be a version of the moving kingdom of God. Everywhere you go, you are displacing demonic strongholds and correcting bad doctrine. Have you noticed how controversial His life was? His family thought He was out of His mind. The religious folk thought He did what He did through the power of Beelzebub – another name for the devil. Yet, it took such devotion to bring about the freedom and authority of the kingdom of God. In response to the accusation against Him that He was casting out demons by the power of Satan, Jesus gave a teaching that is important to us.
These words are applicable in any instance: a home divided – a business divided – a church divided – a nation divided – a life divided.
When true division sets in, it takes authority to displace it.
It doesn’t matter if two people say they are on the same side: if one sees the other as the “devil” it will take authority to displace it and restore unity. Jesus was being called an agent of the devil as He performed His ministry. This accusation wasn’t coming from outside the church but from within! Jesus called this type of accusation “blasphemy of the Holy Spirit”. What is that and why did Jesus call it that? Jesus used the term because they were saying of Him that He had an evil spirit and was under its influence.
Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit calls a work it cannot control – in this instance God’s work a work of the devil. It resists truth to hold onto an agenda. This prevents true conversion and is a roadblock to unity. How can people who profess to serve the same God be so divided in their opinions?
1. An ungodly agenda
Most of us start off with a desire to serve God. At some point, we will all be challenged to fight for an agenda that has motives that do not follow the motives of the Holy Spirit. The deception comes because we think they are the motives of the Spirit but if you truly ran them through the Word of God, you would find that they seek to promote a position that is in some way exalting a plan that is out of line with God’s word.
2. A lack of accountability
The scribes and Pharisees and Sadducees had begun to tailor the Word of God to fit their agenda. To do this, you must ignore certain parts of the Word and excuse your sin against other parts. They left behind true accountability to follow the Word and became a law unto themselves. When Jesus or anyone else for that matter (the case of the man healed who was born blind) tried to restore accountability to the Word, they became angry.
3. A desire for self-gratification and self-exaltation
When you begin to pursue an ungodly agenda and are confronted by the Holy Spirit or someone in the Body about it, you have a choice: to return to the truth of the Word or to pursue your desire to be right and to get what you want. The scribes, Pharisees, and Sadducees wanted to be looked at as God’s voice and His gift to the people. They fought for this desire at the expense of the truth. Their desire for self-gratification and self-exaltation affected their choices. Sometimes, we don’t have to have anyone else exalt us – we can do that well enough by ourselves.
4. A desire for power/control
We often get angry at what we cannot control. Many who say they are working for God are actually angry at Him because He is not acting according to their desires. But, of course this is something that is hard to admit. So, eventually the person who has this desire becomes more and more isolated over time because they find nothing that responds to their spiritual appeal absolutely. They keep leaving things out of their control until it is just them and God. And, they are often mad at Him.
- Mark 3:20-30 (NKJV)
- 1 John 5:6
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