Mark 3:20-35 — Common English Bible

Jesus entered a house. A crowd gathered again so that it was impossible for him and his followers even to eat. When his family heard what was happening, they came to take control of him. They were saying, “He’s out of his mind!” The legal experts came down from Jerusalem. Over and over they charged, “He’s possessed by Beelzebul. He throws out demons with the authority of the ruler of demons.” When Jesus called them together he spoke to them in a parable: “How can Satan throw Satan out?  A kingdom involved in civil war will collapse.  And a house torn apart by divisions will collapse.  If Satan rebels against himself and is divided, then he can’t endure. He’s done for.  No one gets into the house of a strong person and steals anything without first tying up the strong person. Only then can the house be burglarized.  I assure you that human beings will be forgiven for everything, for all sins and insults of every kind. But whoever insults the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven. That person is guilty of a sin with consequences that last

Choices and Consequences

Choices and Consequences

Mark 3:20-30

©Hilary F. Marckx, all rights reserved


For most of my thinking,

adult life,

I have heard this text

used as a way to bludgeon and make afraid

any who would

dispute any claim any Christian

might make about something

they perceived that

God may have done.

It can get kind of scary and freaky

when they get going.

Most Christians,

and I am one of them,

place a strong emphasis on the Word of God,


many think that means the Bible,

but that is not entirely correct.

The Word of God,

if you read the Gospel of John,

is the physical person of Jesus,

whom we know as the Christ,

and whose gospel,

as we see lived out by his actions

(the Good News Message Jesus came and died to share with us),

is a powerful message of

forgiveness, love, joy, liberation, hope, peace, and justice.

None of which are compatible, or consistent,

with any text that proclaims unforgiveness.

I know many folk who snork and snicker

at the idea of theology,

but who themselves

do unconscious

and bad theology every day —

theology based on fear and control.

I am a critically thinking theologian

for whom the text of the scriptures

must match the intent of a God,

in this case a Christ,

whom I regard as worthy

of my worship and praise.

In reviewing various presentations

for insights as to how others

have considered this text,

I have found no alternatives.

All translations place the consequence

for the perceived transgression

on both God,

who turns from

forgiver into condemner,

matching repudiation with repudiation,

and the one questioning

who is turned into a victim.

My contention

is that this text will not stand against

the Gospel of love and forgiveness

that Jesus proclaimed

and is more a non-gospel

of judgement conceived by the revenge

mentality of a post-Jesus-church

wanting to make a clear point

to those who were either denying

their proclamation of Jesus,

or had been instrumental in his death.

I will filter this text,

as I do all texts,

through my understanding of the gospel of Jesus.


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