Markby Robert M. Solomon
The crowds continued to grow. While Jesus was indoors, a crowd prevented Him and His disciples from having a meal (v. 20). Imagine a doctor in a clinic with hundreds of patients queuing up to see him. It is such a long queue that he has to skip lunch in order to attend to all of them. Jesus was in a similar situation. Two groups of people were assessing His actions: His family and a group of teachers of the law.
Jesus' family members were concerned about Him. He was endangering himself by making the religious authorities angry with Him. Perhaps popularity was getting to His head! His foregoing meals to minister to the crowds was the last straw-perhaps He was better off returning to His small, quiet business in Nazareth. They concluded that ″He is out of his mind″ and went to ″take charge of him″ (v. 21). It must have grieved Jesus to be misunderstood by those close to Him.
But more hurting was the condemnation from the teachers of the law, who had been sent by the authorities in Jerusalem to evaluate Jesus and His miracles. Their conclusion: ″He is possessed by Beelzebub!″ otherwise known as the ″prince of demons″ (v. 22). They accused Jesus of being possessed by Satan himself-that must have been why He could perform so many miracles.
Jesus countered them by asking ″How can Satan drive out Satan?″ (v. 23). A divided house would not be able to stand. There was no civil war in the demonic kingdom; the real war was between the kingdom of God and Satan's hordes. Jesus declared himself to be stronger than Satan-He had in fact been plundering Satan's dark kingdom by plucking individuals from his evil grasp (v. 27).
The learned but unwise scribes were in danger of committing the unpardonable sin, which is a sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. To attribute the work of the Holy Spirit (John 15:26; 16:8) to Satan is the unpardonable sin. In essence, if one continues to reject what the Holy Spirit does, he is guilty of the ″eternal sin″ from which he cannot be saved (v. 29), for he would not have repented and turned to Christ.
Jesus was ″diagnosed″ to be mad and bad. How do you think He must have felt? Think of those times you have been misunderstood or maligned for doing God's work? What do you think Jesus would say to you?
How is Jesus ″plundering″ Satan's diabolical kingdom today? Where do you see yourself in what He is doing? Why is prayer vital?