Mark 3:22-30 (ESV)

22 And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and “by the prince of demons he casts out the demons.” 23 And he called them to him and said to them in parables, “How can Satan cast out Satan? 24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. 26 And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but is coming to an end. 27 But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. Then indeed he may plunder his house. 28 “Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the children of man, and whatever blasphemies they utter, 29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”— 30 for they were saying, “He has an unclean spirit.”

The scribes became even more aggressive with their accusations against Jesus. They declared Jesus cast out demons by using the power of demons. The scribes couldn’t deny what Jesus was doing, so they chose to attack the source of his power. Instead of admitting God cast out demons through Jesus, they claimed the evil spirits were leaving men because Jesus relied upon Satan for power. They charged Jesus with being possessed by Beelzebul, which was another name for the devil. Jesus called them together and told them their logic was ridiculous. If Jesus’ work was against Satan and his kingdom, then how could Satan power it? That makes no sense. Jesus also declared that no one could enter into a strong man’s house and take what he had, unless the strong man were first bound. Jesus would not be able to rescue men from Satan’s clutches unless he were more powerful than Satan. The mightier one, Jesus, is able to rescue souls from the realm of the devil, the lesser power. And that’s just what Jesus did. Jesus certainly didn’t need Satan’s power to help him out. In fact, Jesus took what “belonged” to the devil.

What if you were there as an eyewitness of Jesus casting out evil spirits from men and delivering them from demon possession? What would you do? Would you believe? Would you turn from living for yourself and instead live for him? The scribes saw Jesus’ mighty works, but it sure didn’t help them. They were still not willing to do things God’s way. Many today will argue that if God simply appeared to them, gave them a sign, or answered a specific prayer, then they would believe. But what kind of appearance or sign or answered prayer would satisfy our doubt? People often reject Jesus not because they don’t believe the facts about whom he was and what he did, but they reject him because they aren’t willing to give him their lives. Those who agree to the facts about Christ but don’t repent are no different from the unbelieving scribes. Those who believe will obey. Jesus says, in verse 28, “All sins will be forgiven against the children of man.” There is no sin you’ve committed that Jesus isn’t willing to forgive. If you know in your heart that Jesus is Lord, be willing to do whatever he asks you to do today.