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Insane Accusations (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
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April 14, 2021 6:00 am

Insane Accusations (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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April 14, 2021 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the Gospel of Mark (Mark 3:20-35)

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Prayer binds a strong man.

That is one of our primary weapons. And I believe prayer works more than what we may think it does because there are so many unseen victories. And we tend to focus on the ones that won't go away, the hardships that remain, whatever they may be. Christ says, you just keep enduring.

That's what I need you to do. And we're saying, but I'm sick of enduring. He says, well, you don't really have a choice. That's what makes him Lord. And we say, well, you know, you're worth it.

Okay. This is Cross-Reference Radio with our pastor and teacher Rick Gaston. Rick is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville. Pastor Rick is currently teaching through the book of Mark.

Please stay with us after today's message to hear more information about Cross-Reference Radio, specifically how you can get a free copy of this teaching. Today, Pastor Rick begins a brand new message called Insane Accusations in Mark chapter three. Welcome to the house of the Lord. And if you're listening online, we are in the gospel according to Mark chapter three, beginning in verse 20, Mark chapter three. Then the multitudes 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 cast 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. Then he will plunder his house. Assuredly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men.

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. Then his brothers and his mother came and standing outside sent to him, calling him. And a multitude was sitting around him. They said to him, look, your mother and your brothers are outside seeking you. But he answered them saying, who is my mother and my brothers? And he looked around in a circle at those who sat about him and said, here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of God is my brother and my sister and mother.

Insane accusations, that's the title of this consideration. And we have a lot to cover, so I want to get right to it, looking at verse 20 again. Then the multitudes came together again so that they could not so much as eat bread. Well, when Jesus ministered, the crowd was always there, it seems, always demanding attention. So many sick people, so many lepers and demoniacs about him all the time it appeared. He did get some break time to time, but so often there were the multitudes.

And he couldn't even eat in peace, Mark tells us here in verse 20. Add to the multitudes on this particular day, his friends, his family, and his foes will make accusations about him that are actually insane accusations when you look at the evidences, the proofs, the things surrounding his life. His family and friends, they meant well, but they called him crazy. And we get to the reason for that in one moment. The foes, of course, the rabbinical authorities of his day, they meant harm when they called him one of Satan's people, and that's what they did say. He was a partner with hell.

Why? Why were they ganging up on him? Where was the proof to make any of these accusations? How can you say such things? To someone especially like Christ, healing people and preaching the good news of the kingdom, how could you say such unfounded things? In fact, these proofs demanded a verdict, and the verdict is this, God's anointed, the Son of God, Messiah. The people began to see it that way at this point in time.

That set off the religious leaders, the dudes from Jerusalem. Look at verse 21 with me, please. But when his own people heard, they went out to lay hold of him, for they said he is out of his mind. In the Greek, his own people, it's broad in its meaning. It can include friends, and it can also mean family, and it is friends and family. We'll get to that in verse 31.

In fact, I'll reference it before we get there. But when his own people heard, heard what? What did they hear that made them say he's out of his mind? Was it that he missed a few meals in ministry?

Well, that might have been the straw that they used to break the camel's back, but I don't think that was it at all. Consider his declarations in defiance of the religious leaders, the scribes, and the Pharisees, and the lawyers, and all the others. Mark 2, verse 5, when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic son, your sins are forgiven you. That's a pretty big word, to come from a Jew in ancient Israel. Because to forgive someone's sins, you have to yourself be sinless.

You cannot make someone clean if you yourself are not clean. What a radical statement. Not long after that, we read the rabbis that they plotted to kill him after that. That's how intense this was.

We kind of miss it because, you know, we're just reading the story, but to be there, to feel it. For 30 years, he restrained himself. For 30 years growing up, he held back large plots of his deity and his glory. Now he was letting some of it go. They weren't ready for it. He was going to make them ready for it. They'll thank him later, most of the good ones, all of them, but not so much the bad ones. They went out to lay hold of him, for they said he is out of his mind. The family wanted to stop him.

The good intentions, you know, you're going to upset the religious intelligentsia, they're going to come down on him, we better rescue him from himself. Well, back up those charges with something though. Don't just come out to say he's crazy and you've got nothing but the accusation. That is insane.

These, they don't mean harm. Well, we see this happen today. I don't want to get ahead of myself, but he backed up his claims with wonders. When he said, son, your sins are forgiven, the person was healed.

And so were countless multitudes of others impacted by his healing and his touch. Mark alerts us in the 31st verse that they set out to get him here in verse 21, again, but when his own people heard, they went out to lay hold of him. But they're not there yet. They're on their way. We get to verse 31, they will have arrived, and he indicates that. But while they're on their way, other things are taking place here with the multitudes around him. Again, they meant well, but they are profoundly wrong and out of bounds with this.

Now, I'm not turning on them, but we got to call it like it is. Here he is busy doing what no one else could do, what no one had ever done before, and he did it tirelessly. He sacrificed meals to get the job done. And for this, accused of insanity. Again, an insane accusation. His own family, his own friends could not tell the difference between ministry and madness.

Why? Well, again, it can't be too hard on them again, because we're 2,000 years later standing here looking back at the events, but the facts speak for themselves. Matthew adds this about this very moment in time when Jesus cast out a demon, which is what brought the following charges against him. Matthew chapter 12 verse 22, which is a parallel account of this event. Then one was brought to him who was demon possessed, blind and mute.

That's a lot. And he healed him so that the blind and the mute man both spoke and saw. And all the multitudes were amazed and said, could this be the son of David? In other words, is this the Messiah? Now when the Pharisees heard it, Matthew 12 verse 24, they said, this fellow does not cast out demons except by Beelzebub, the ruler of demons. Are you kidding me? That's insane.

This accusation. The man is blind. He's a mute. He's demon possessed.

And just like that, he's made whole. And the people said, we have not seen anything like this. This must be Messiah.

Could there be any other explanation for this? And the Pharisees heard that, and they would have none of it. Again, the Jerusalem dudes did not care for the comments of the multitudes, and they took to measures that would stop this. In verse 22, the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, he has Beelzebub, and by the ruler of demons, he cast out demons. Well, we know what set it off. We just read it from Matthew's gospel.

Mark left it out for whatever reasons, but we have it. These were the super duper smart spiritual ones. They came down from Jerusalem to check him out. So how could they be wrong about anything? They were the custodians of approval or disapproval. These boys were mean. They were petty. They were determined, and they were deadly.

And here they are to silence the evidences and the support. Facts meant nothing to them. They majored in minutia. They majored in the minors. They gagged on gnats and swallowed camels whole, Jesus said. They missed the point, routinely missing the point.

We're supposed to look at this in Christians and say, let me learn not to do some of these things, all of the bad things. He was not the product of their schools, and so they would not accept him. There was more to it than that, but he loved them. Even though they loathed him, he still loved them. But that love would run out.

They had one lifetime to get it fixed, and that's a long time. He has Beelzebub, they said. That's the Greek form of Baal-zebub. You know Baal if you know anything about the Old Testament. They could not conceive of a greater sin to hurl at him.

This was like the nuclear verbal option that they exercised here. The Canaanite God considered the chief among evil spirits by the Jews. The Canaanites worshiped Baal, but the Jews, and initially the Baal meant the Lord, and so you have it in proper context from time to time in the Old Testament. But also in context of Canaanite worship, you have it as of course this pagan deity. Jesus identifies him with Satan.

He knew what they were charging him with, and that's why he's going to in a minute say, how can Satan cast out Satan? Originally the name Baal is believed to mean the Lord of the high places, the lofty one. The Jews, rightly so, considered Baal an unworthy rival to Yahweh. There's no way that they would ever accept him, so they knew this was a demonic creation. Baal was revised amongst the Jews from the Lord Baal to the Lord of the flies, Baal-zebub. Some say that because the pagan temples were loaded with flies, they didn't keep the place clean as opposed to the Jewish temple where you couldn't find flies because those Levites were so on top of things. Baal, the Lord, zebub, flies. Later other Jews increased the commentary on this fake god, and instead of zebub, they said zebol, that is the Lord of dung.

That's what they weren't playing. They wanted you to know what they thought about Baal. So here you have these men saying this to Jesus, all of the vitriol that belonged to this, all of the hatred behind it. He's healing people. He is a devil. He's got a devil. You could see their fangs sticking out when they sneered at him, and so accusing him of being in cahoots with the god of filth.

It continues there in verse 22, and by the ruler of the demons he cast out demons. And so they're accusing him of being a shaman, a voodoo worker, a witch doctor. Pick another title if you'd like, but that's the accusation they are putting on him. They could not control him, so they would not accept him.

They could not stop him yet, but they were planning on ways to do just that. But they refused to submit to him because that would mean they would have to recognize that he is Messiah, and then that would mean they would have to conform and submit to his authority, and they were not going to do that. So they slandered him publicly, refusing to accept that he was from God and saying that he was from hell.

People still do these kind of things. Serious thing to charge someone with blasphemy, serious thing to charge somebody with insanity, especially if you got nothing. They had nothing, both of them, family and friends and these foes of his. And so they expected the people to abandon him when they made this charge, when they heard the people say, could this be the son of David?

No way. This is from hell. This is not from heaven.

How dare you associate this man? That's what they were hoping the effect would be, and the people would go, oh, okay, thank you, all spiritual dudes from Jerusalem. Verse 23, so he called them to himself and said to them in parables.

How can Satan cast out Satan? Matthew tells us when he says he called them, he means the guys that were charging him, the men from Jerusalem. So it's more when he says, so he called them to himself and said in parables. Parables are word pictures.

They don't fade. You know, words, you kind of lose the meaning, but a picture, you're more apt to keep that. It is a truth in story format, and it is very effective. We tell our children's stories. We tell each other's stories.

Hopefully they're true or good stories. But where he says, how can Satan cast out Satan? He is saying this. That doesn't make any sense. That's what he's saying to them. Satan is casting out Satan.

No, that's dumb. And that's his reply. Verse 24, he continues.

Now, not only does he say that doesn't make any sense, he says here's why it does not make any sense. He says if a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. Fighting itself into collapse, implosion. Verse 25, and if a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. Yeah, what house stands when husband and wife are enemies? What house can stand if brother and sister are at each other's throat? Now, I know the little ones can do that, but I mean they're on a serious level, on another level, a level of total destruction. When strife rules, peace and love and truth run and hide in a cave somewhere.

It can't be found. And so it makes perfect sense when he says, how can a house divided like this stand? How can I possibly be from hell casting out hell?

That would be shooting myself in the foot. Verse 26, and if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand but has an end. He knew more about Satan than anybody. He knew more about Satan than Satan knew. And to have somebody throw up in his face something like this, the insults, he had to endure.

He put up with this. And so when Christ says to us, endure hardship, he left us an example. Paul followed that example.

Paul wasn't the only one. The apostles weren't the only ones. Christians have been following this example ever since. Sin is a divisive force in the universe.

Sin is a force in the universe just like gravity is a force in the universe. And Satan knows how to make full use of sin. And he's using it right here.

And he's using it on the accusers. Verse 27, he says no one can enter a strong man's house and plunder his goods unless he first binds a strong man. And then he will plunder his house. When Jesus cast out the demon just a few moments ago, he was throwing out the strong man. He's the stronger man coming into the house, plundering the goods and emancipating a life. And for this he is charged with being demonic. He says unless he first binds a strong man, which they just saw, you would think they would go, you know who you got? You're making some good points. Maybe we had it wrong. No, they are buckling down.

They are doubling up their opposition. And for this reason he will say, when you behave like this, there is no way you can be forgiven for this. Are you supposed to be led into heaven behaving like this?

Because your character is formed in this life. You'll go into heaven doing the same thing and God will have none of that. And that's where his great charge against them is going to come from in a moment. Unless he first binds a strong man, we're powerless against Satan.

He's too strong for us. We have to have God work through us to do it or God do it directly. That's what happened to the disciples in Matthew 19. They tried to cast out the demon and they could not. When Jesus comes down, he sees the Pharisees talking to the apostles, what are you talking about? He gets right in their face.

He's not going to let those boys get hold of his boys. And the apostles, they were bothered by this because Jesus then comes down, cast out the demon and then later they come to the Lord and they say, why could we not cast him out? How many times have we said that? Prayer binds a strong man.

That is one of our primary weapons. And I believe prayer works more than what we may think it does because there's so many unseen victories. And we tend to focus on the ones that won't go away, the hardships that remain, whatever they may be. And Christ says, you just keep enduring.

That's what I need you to do. And we're saying, but I'm sick of enduring. He says, well, you don't really have a choice.

That's what makes him Lord. And we say, well, you know, you're worth it. Okay.

Grumble, grumble, grumble. So, and then he will plunder his house such as the emancipation of the soul from the demon. Verse 28, surely I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men and whatever blasphemies they may utter.

So we have to pause there. Ultimately again, the only sin God never forgives is the sin of refusing to accept his terms of forgiveness. If you say, look, get out my face with this Jesus stuff, then you're not going to be forgiven. That is blasphemous. God is living and God is loving and God is forgiving and God is willing to forgive and he's willing to forgive repeatedly.

The same person. How many times should I forgive my brother? Said Peter, 70 times. Jesus said, that's what he said. That's what it amounted to.

What's 70 times? He'll run that out real quick. Then what?

Then I can damn him. Psalm 86, 15, the psalmist, you can see the psalmist writing this and then reciting this with his hands up in the air, praising the Lord. He says, what you O Lord are a God full of compassion and gracious, long suffering and abundant and mercy in truth. That abundant, when you attach it to us, it means a lot. When you attach it to God, it means infinity. It's an infinitant abundance of mercy and truth. That doesn't mean it's handed out just to anyone at any time for any reason. And the Bible takes its time to, it painstakingly takes its time to lay it out for us how this compassion, this grace, this long suffering, this abundance of mercy and truth, how it is made available to us or not.

In verse 29, Jesus still speaking, he says, but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation. I know we read that and we say, have I done this? Have I done this? Because if I've done this, I'm doomed. Well, if you have no judgment to worry about because you're already doomed, you might as well just go out and you all okra you want. Just eat as much okra as you can. I mean, there's just some foods that you shouldn't like. And the Bible would tell you, but it has other things to mention.

All right, so let's, now you okra lovers, that's for you. Back to what we're talking about to lighten up this a little bit now to go at it heavy. This is a headshot. Make no mistake when he says, but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness. That is not a body blow. That is a blow to the head.

There's nothing diluted about it. Blasphemy is a serious thing. The wages of blasphemy is death and death eternal with no way out.

That's the idea. Blasphemy, what is it? It is a personal attack on God. It is not just an attack on the things of God, the people of God. It is an attack on him personally, whether intended or not, sacrilegious. Paul said I was a blasphemer, but I didn't know better and God showed mercy to me. It is irreverence.

It is defiance. Thanks for tuning in to Cross Reference Radio for this study in the book of Mark. Cross Reference Radio is the teaching ministry of Pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville in Virginia. To learn more information about this ministry, visit our website, crossreferenceradio.com. Once you're there you'll find additional teachings from Pastor Rick. We encourage you to subscribe to our podcast. When you subscribe you'll be notified of each new edition of Cross Reference Radio. You can search for Cross Reference Radio on your favorite podcast app. That's all we have time for today, but we hope you'll join us next time as Pastor Rick continues to teach through the book of Mark, right here on Cross Reference Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-02 04:08:55 / 2023-12-02 04:18:15 / 9

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