Sick of Religion? Week 7: Devotional Day 1
DAY 1 – Monday
Mark 3:22-30; Mark 1:21-28; Mark 2:5-10; Mark 3:11-12
What is the accusation of the scribes against Jesus? What do they say about his ability and where he gets that power from?
In Mark 1, we learn that Jesus’ teachings were not like that of the scribes. He “taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes.” (Mark 1:22) Likewise in Mark 2, Jesus displays his authority to heal and forgive sins. The people come from far and wide, to hear his teaching, and to receive healing and forgiveness. Even the scribes and Pharisees travel from Jerusalem to see this Jesus, whose fame has spread throughout the region, whose authority begins to threaten their own.
This accusation they bring against Jesus, is that he is operating under the influence of Beelzebub—a common Hebraic term for Satan. Contrast this with the perception of the very spirits whom he is casting out—when they encounter him, they fall down and cry out “You are the Son of God.” (Mark 3:11) Wittingly or not, both groups have answered Jesus’ famous question “Who do you say that I am?” Consider how it is that the religious leaders of the day got it wrong, yet the unclean spirits got it right. What are the implications of their perceptions? Read Isaiah 5:20.
If you have time today read back through Mark 1 through 3 to get the flow of Mark’s gospel this far. Do you gain any further insights as to why the scribes and Pharisees are opposed to Jesus’ ministry? Spend some time considering the parables in the story, as we prepared to dig in to those tomorrow.