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
©Hilary F. Marckx, all rights reserved
For most of my thinking,
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.
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
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.
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.