S.O.A.P. – “Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer”
One time Jesus entered a house, and the crowds began to gather again. Soon he and his disciples couldn’t even find time to eat. When his family heard what was happening, they tried to take him away. “He’s out of his mind,” they said.
But the teachers of religious law who had arrived from Jerusalem said, “He’s possessed by Satan, the prince of demons. That’s where he gets the power to cast out demons.”
Jesus called them over and responded with an illustration. “How can Satan cast out Satan?” he asked. “A kingdom divided by civil war will collapse. Similarly, a family splintered by feuding will fall apart. And if Satan is divided and fights against himself, how can he stand? He would never survive. Let me illustrate this further. Who is powerful enough to enter the house of a strong man and plunder his goods? Only someone even stronger—someone who could tie him up and then plunder his house.
“I tell you the truth, all sin and blasphemy can be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven. This is a sin with eternal consequences.” He told them this because they were saying, “He’s possessed by an evil spirit.”
Then Jesus’ mother and brothers came to see him. They stood outside and sent word for him to come out and talk with them. There was a crowd sitting around Jesus, and someone said, “Your mother and your brothers are outside asking for you.”
Jesus replied, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?” Then he looked at those around him and said, “Look, these are my mother and brothers. Anyone who does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.” Mark 3:20–35 NLT
Why would the “teachers of religious law” attempt such a harsh judgment against Jesus (e.g. “he only has power over evil because he is possessed by evil”)?
These religious leaders would later have Jesus executed on the basis that he was guilty of blasphemy. Claiming to be honoring God, they instead were blindly bent on protecting their political power. They wanted to force everyone ELSE to follow God, and they ignored God’s call on their lives. Rather than pointing the finger at others, take a good look at yourself: are YOU following Jesus, or are you just pressuring others to accommodate your needs?
Lord, I am inherently selfish, self-centered, and easily triggered to blame others when I am at fault. Teach me to be humble so I can see Jesus clearly and follow him faithfully.