Verses 20 and 21 should be comforting to those of us who have family who think our beliefs and actions are bizarre. Even Jesus’ own family thought He was mad at times!
I believe that the best way to look at the next few verses (22-30) is by not over complicating them:
- Sure you can have a spy in the camp, pretending to be one thing when they really are another. But that can’t last. And Jesus isn’t just casting out demons. He’s continually pointing people to God and challenging sin. Jesus is consistently and totally against Satan. If He were a secret agent, He’d be a lousy one, because He’s destroying the kingdom of the one the scribes say He is serving.
- Satan is identified here as “Beelzebul.” That was the name of an ancient Philistine deity, but the Jewish religious authorities used it to refer to the ruler of the abode of demons.
- Not only did Jesus bind the strong man by His ministry, He binds the strong man in our own lives as well (through the power of the Spirit). The Spirit breaks us out of our old way of thinking, gets us to turn from sin, and brings us into the kingdom of God. We were Satan’s, but now we are God’s!
- We covered the idea of an unpardonable sin on January 18, when we looked at Matthew 13:22-32. It is quite possible that this “demeaning” of the Holy Spirit could only happen when Jesus was actually ministering on earth. However, there is an unpardonable sin, and we commit it when we refuse to believe in Jesus Christ. How the Holy Spirit figures into that conversation is an argument that has been going on for 2000 years!
The last few verses (31-35) are much easier to comprehend, and are probably delivered in response to what we read earlier in verses 20-21. When we believe in Jesus (which is the start of obedience), we become a part of God’s family!
For worship: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bj97unXda6c