20 Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. 21 When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.”

22 And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebul! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons.”

23 So Jesus called them over to him and began to speak to them in parables: “How can Satan drive out Satan? 24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. 26 And if Satan opposes himself and is divided, he cannot stand; his end has come. 27 In fact, no one can enter a strong man’s house without first tying him up. Then he can plunder the strong man’s house. 28 Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, 29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.”

30 He said this because they were saying, “He has an impure spirit.”

31 Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. 32 A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, “Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.”

33 “Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked.
34 Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 35 Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.” Mark 3:20-35

They thought He was out of His mind but He could not have been saner! It was not Jesus’ behaviour that was the problem. It was the madness of the crowd. They wanted what He could do for them. In typical mob fashion, they had no respect for Jesus or for one another, everyone pushing and shoving, everyone trying to get near Him for what they wanted, impatient, disorderly, rude and demanding.

Family and friends heard about it and tried to get Him out of there as though He were incapable of taking care of Himself. They thought He was helpless to do anything about it. They wanted to disconnect Him from the suffering and need of the unruly crowd but they could not. Mark’s record tells us nothing about the outcome. They wanted to rescue Him, by force if necessary, but did they? No! Jesus would not permit anyone to do anything to Him that was not sanctioned by His Father. Even though they were not aware of it, no-one could do anything to Him that was not part of the Father’s plan.

Jesus revealed His total command of the situation by His response to the Pharisees’ accusation and His family’s attempted intervention. The religious leaders read the whole episode as having demonic overtones. He was using black magic to con the people. He was deliberately stirring up this irreligious mob because He had a hidden agenda. By seducing them with magic, He wanted to raise an army of followers who would stir up trouble against Rome!

Jesus’ reply was masterful. With the deft strokes of a master artist, He painted a word picture of the implications of their accusation. It was not Rome that was their problem but dark spiritual forces that held them captive; deformities, diseases, and depravity held them in their grip. Would Satan be that foolish that he would use someone in league with himself to break his power over them? Not likely! Think again, you fools! Jesus was no magician!

Luella Campbell

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