Sick of Religion? Week 7: Devotional Day 2
DAY 2 – Tuesday
Mark 3:23-27; Matthew 12:22-32
Why does Jesus give his response to his opponents in parables? What is the purpose of parables according to Mark’s gospel? (See Mark 4:10-12)
Mark and Matthew give very similar accounts of the parables Jesus told the scribes (Pharisees) when they accused him. What similarities do you see? Are there any significant differences?
In telling the parables, Jesus assumes that those who have ears to hear will understand that he cannot do work under the influence of Satan, when the very work he seeks to do opposes the work of Satan himself. Not only this, he has come to establish God’s kingdom on earth, which has nothing to do with Satan, and cannot stand if Satan has any influence over it. The additional information we get from Matthew, however, is that the Pharisees were also casting out demons, or unclean spirits. Jesus’ question to them is “If I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out?” In light of this, the attitude of the scribes and Pharisees seems now to stem from a perceived threat to their own ministry.
A third account of this passage appears in Luke 11:14-23. Read verse 23. According to Jesus, the challenge to his authority and the source thereof stems from what attitude? We tend to want to say that if Jesus is for us, who can be against us, and that’s true! (cf. Romans 8:31) Are there times though when your thoughts and attitudes stray from Jesus kingdom goals? Spend the rest of your time today considering this, ask Jesus if you need to and confess those times when you tend to think like scribes or Pharisees.