Mark 3 - Steve Wiggins Daily Devotional
“‘On the other hand, no one can enter a strong man’s house and rob his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man. Then he will rob his house. I assure you: People will be forgiven for all sins and whatever blasphemies they may blaspheme. But whoever blasphemes against the Ruach HaKodesh never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin’ – because they were saying ‘He has an unclean spirit’.” Mark 3:27-30
In today’s passage, The Scribes were accusing Yeshua of using demonic power to cast out demons. There were two types of “Scribes” in the Gospels. One type of Scribe was the aged “expert” in Torah. The word “Scribe” was also descriptive of advanced Torah students who were yet to be ordained as rabbis. It is this latter type who was speaking with Yeshua in today’s passage…the students with limited authority by virtue of their incomplete training. These Scribes were not allowed to do two things. 1) They could not make interpretations of Scripture on their own (apart from their teacher’s articulated interpretations). 2) They were not allowed to make judgments. By their accusations, the Scribes were either: 1) Stepping outside of their authority, or 2) Acting as mouthpieces of their Torah instructors.
Yeshua begins dismantling their argument with simple logic. “Satan cannot drive out himself.” Imagine how unwilling a pit bull is to let go of its victim. That’s Satan…and worse! Yeshua is saying Satan is only & always singularly focused, unless compelled by an overwhelming EXTERNAL influence.
That said, Yeshua quickly compares / contrasts the impossibility of Satan’s kingdom being divided, with the historical reality of Israel’s divided kingdom. Of course, this had to sting the hearts of those Scribes, who had dedicated their lives to studying the Torah & Prophets…the history of Israel!
In His analogy, Yeshua reminds the Scribes of how Satan had once bound the hearts of Israel’s forefathers…rabbis whose interpretations the Scribes were, no doubt, learning!! Once bound-up in sin, Israel’s kingdom became divided. Eventually, Babylon conquered Israel, exiled its inhabitants, and carried-off the Temple articles to Babylon.
Per G-d’s direction to Israel through the prophets, if the Jews would turn back to Adonai, He would forgive them, restoring them to the land. Regardless of their sin or blasphemy, one could be forgiven if they would acknowledge their sin and repent. Yeshua is extending an earthly image of restoration into the heavenly realm.
What makes Yeshua’s message even more poignant, is how He knew the Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh) had revealed this truth to the Scribes. They knew in their hearts that Yeshua was Messiah, but rejected that revelation. The only sin, for which there is no forgiveness, is to KNOW Yeshua is Messiah…and to die, having rejected Him. Literally blaspheming the revelation of the Ruach HaKodesh, saying “You are revealing a lie.”
~Steve Wiggins, Assistant Rabbi
Daily Devotional, Monday, May 20, 2013