Mark 3:22- “The scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, “He is possessed by Beelzebul (Satan),” and “He is driving out the demons by the [power of the] ruler of the demons.” AMP
Jesus came to preach the good news of the kingdom, God’s rule, and His authority. As He moves forth in ministry, He starts making enemies of the religious leaders.
Then the Pharisees went out and immediately began conspiring with the Herodians [to plot] against Him, as to how they might [fabricate some legal grounds to] put Him to death.Mark 3:6 AMP
After the Pharisees left the Sabbath meeting, they went to the Herodians to plot how they could destroy Jesus. The Herodians were Jews who supported Herod and Rome, and therefore, were not friends of the Pharisees. Yet, they went to the Herodians to portray Jesus as an enemy of Rome of Herod.
Mark tells of the incident when the first attack began. Jesus was visiting with Simon again, in his home, where people started gathering. The first attack came from His natural family. It was probably his brothers or some other relatives, but they showed up saying that Jesus was out of His mind. When I first turned my life over to the Savior and made Him my Lord, my family thought the same thing about me! Sometimes family members are the last to accept and realize that there has been a change in your life. Cut them a little slack and trust God because they may eventually come around. If they don’t come around, stay away until they can at least be civil!
The second attack came from Jerusalem in the form of the scribes. Jesus wasn’t performing miracles when they showed up, and yet the first thing they do is accuse Him of operating by the power of the devil.
The scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, “He is possessed by Beelzebul (Satan),” and “He is driving out the demons by the [power of the] ruler of the demons.”Mark 3:22 AMP
How insulting! They recognize that miracles are happening, but they attribute them to Satan. And to make matters worse, they said that Jesus was possessed by Satan! The kingdom of God demolishes the kingdom of darkness. Satan was so upset that Jesus was casting out demons, healing the sick, and exposing him that he stirred up the Pharisees and then the scribes.
Jesus called the scribes to Himself and offered them this explanation:
“How can Satan drive out Satan? If a kingdom is divided [split into factions and rebelling] 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 is coming to an end. But no one can go into a strong man’s house and steal his property unless he first overpowers and ties up the strong man, and then he will ransack and rob his house.Mark 3:23b-27 AMP
First, Jesus asks them how Satan can drive out Satan? He wouldn’t. Then Jesus tells them that a kingdom or house divided against itself cannot stand. A civil war breaks out under that type of division, causing the house or the kingdom to fall. Jesus also points out that if Satan was rising against himself, his kingdom was coming to an end!
Verse 27 ought to make us shout! Let’s reread it:
But no one can go into a strong man’s house and steal his property unless he first overpowers and ties up the strong man, and then he will ransack and rob his house.Mark 3:27 AMP
This accusation of the scribes against Jesus that He is possessed by the devil gives Jesus an open door to expand on His mission. Jesus tells the scribes that no one can go into a strong man’s house and steal his property unless the strong man is overpowered. Jesus was doing damage to the kingdom of darkness because He had already defeated the devil, thereby enabling Jesus to ransack his house and rob him. That’s the power of the kingdom of God in action!
He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.Colossians 1:13-14 NKJV
Jesus makes one final point about the only thing that God will never forgive, blaspheming the Holy Spirit.
“I assure you and most solemnly say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and all the abusive and blasphemous things they say; but whoever [j]blasphemes against the Holy Spirit and His power [by attributing the miracles done by Me to Satan] never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an everlasting sin [a sin which is unforgivable in this present age as well as in the age to come]”— [Jesus said this] because the scribes and Pharisees were [attributing His miracles to Satan by] saying, “He has an unclean spirit.”Mark 3:28-30 AMP
We dance around this, and hee-haw about it, but Jesus cuts through the chase and gets to the point! If you say that Jesus performed miracles by the devil and not the Holy Spirit, you are blaspheming the Holy Spirit! We need to be very careful about what we contribute to the devil and what we contribute to the work of the Holy Spirit! Even today! If we are unsure, then we need to say that we are unsure.
I would like to make you feel good about this by stating that no one can know or that it is something other than what it is. But Jesus clearly states (and I admit to using the AMP bible because it was more direct) what blaspheming is. He said it immediately after being accused of being possessed by the devil and working under his power!
I won’t argue about it, but when I read this passage, it seems pretty clear to me. A lot has happened in chapter three, but the most important thing to remember is that Mark has introduced us to the suffering Jesus, and there is so much more ahead for Him. Wonderful Jesus!