Daily Gospel Reflection - 22 January 2013

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 forever.” He said this because the legal experts were saying, “He’s possessed by an evil spirit.”

His mother and brothers arrived. They stood outside and sent word to him, calling for him. A crowd was seated around him, and those sent to him said, “Look, your mother, brothers, and sisters are outside looking for you.”

He replied, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?” Looking around at those seated around him in a circle, he said, “Look, here are my mother and my brothers. Whoever does God’s will is my brother, sister, and mother.”

There are a couple of things that stand out here. One, I’ve been wanting to address for a while now - the “unforgivable sin.”

I hear so much junk about this passage. So, let me be clear here - the “unforgivable sin” has nothing to do with us today. Mark is clear in the passage that the “unforgivable sin” was directed to the “legal experts” for saying that Jesus was “possessed by an evil spirit.”

Also, people that are so caught up in the “unforgivable sin” fail to notice the first part of Jesus’ statement, “I assure you that human beings will be forgiven for everything, for all sins and insults of every kind.” Jesus didn’t say people would only be forgiven when they ask. People will be forgiven. Period.

Why is that? Because the agreement is not between humanity and G_d. It’s between Jesus and G_d. Humanity, and the rest of creation, receive the benefits of their agreement. As St. Paul wrote in Romans 5, “[Just] as one man’s transgression brought condemnation for all [people], so also one man’s righteous act brought justification and life for all [people] (Mounce1).”

In the Love of the Three in One,

Br. Jack+, LC

The Mounce Reverse-Interlinear™ New Testament (MOUNCE) Copyright © 2011 by Robert H. Mounce and William D. Mounce. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


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