He warned them not to tell who He was
Mark 3:7-30 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
Jesus withdrew to the sea with His disciples; and a great multitude from Galilee followed; and also from Judea, 8 and from Jerusalem, and from Idumea, and beyond the Jordan, and the vicinity of Tyre and Sidon, a great number of people heard of all that He was doing and came to Him. 9 And He told His disciples that a boat should stand ready for Him because of the crowd, so that they would not crowd Him; 10 for He had healed many, with the result that all those who had afflictions pressed around Him in order to touch Him. 11 Whenever the unclean spirits saw Him, they would fall down before Him and shout, “You are the Son of God!” 12 And He earnestly warned them not to tell who He was.
13 And He went up on the mountain and summoned those whom He Himself wanted, and they came to Him. 14 And He appointed twelve, so that they would be with Him and that He could send them out to preach, 15 and to have authority to cast out the demons. 16 And He appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom He gave the name Peter), 17 and James, the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James (to them He gave the name Boanerges, which means, “Sons of Thunder”); 18 and Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Zealot; 19 and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Him.
20 And He came home, and the crowd gathered again, to such an extent that they could not even eat a meal. 21 When His own people heard of this, they went out to take custody of Him; for they were saying, “He has lost His senses.” 22 The scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and “He casts out the demons by the ruler of the demons.” 23 And He called them to Himself and began speaking to them in parables, “How can Satan cast out Satan? 24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. 26 If Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but he is finished! 27 But no one can enter the strong man’s house and plunder his property unless he first binds the strong man, and then he will plunder his house.
28 “Truly I say to you, all sins shall be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they utter; 29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”— 30 because they were saying, “He has an unclean spirit.”
In Today’s text it says: Whenever the unclean spirits saw Him, they would fall down before Him and shout, “You are the Son of God!” And He earnestly warned them not to tell who He was. In Matthew 16:20, after telling the disciples He would give them the keys to the kingdom of heaven and authority to bind and loose things on earth as in heaven: Then He warned the disciples that they should tell no one that He was the Christ. If knowing and believing that Jesus is the Son of God; the Christ is what is necessary for salvation, why would Jesus suppress that information? Why is it that He wanted neither the unclean spirits nor His disciples to tell people who He was/is? The answer, perhaps lies in part, in what He said earlier in Matthew 16, Peter says: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And in verse 17 Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.” In John 6:44 Jesus says: “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him.” As followers of Jesus, we are called and commissioned to preach the good news of the gospel, but the revelation of Christ must come from the Father. If we convince people with our own words or reasoning we may persuade them, but it is essential that they believe, not simply be persuaded, that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, their Savior and Redeemer.
For someone to know that they need a redeemer, and that Jesus is the one who redeems them, they must first recognize that they have sinned and have need of a savior. In John 16:7-11, Jesus says: “I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:of sin, because they do not believe in Me;of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more;of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.” It is the job of the Holy Spirit, not for believers, to convict the world of sin and righteousness. What is our part then? In Matthew 5:13-16 Jesus says: “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men. “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Salt was used primarily as a preservative in Jesus day. As salt of the earth, we are to act as a preservative of goodness and righteousness. We are to be light in the darkness of the world. It is the Holy Spirit who convicts the world of sin, but if there is no light, how will people recognize the darkness?
Many today say that love is all that matters. Indeed love is vital to our relationship both with God and with others. Jesus says: “you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31) There is a difference though between what the world recognizes as love, how our culture believes love should be demonstrated and how God demonstrates His love. Our culture thinks that to love someone means that you accept everything about them, that you tolerate everything they do. God on the other hand: demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8) The love of God is not demonstrated through tolerance or acceptance of sin, but rather in grace through the cross of Christ as payment for our sin.
Many today say that the church has lost the demonstration of the love of God to the world. Again, love is vital to our message. In today’s text it says: “If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.” Jesus was responding to the allegation that He cast out evil spirits through the power of evil. But the truth of a divided kingdom or household also applies to the household of God’s people, the church. In John 13:34-35 Jesus says: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” One of the biggest reasons the church has lost its ability to be a light to the world is because there is so much disunity and lack of love between believers. The world does not see the church as disciples of Jesus, not because of the lack of love for the world but because of the lack of love for each other.
In today’s text Jesus says: “Truly I say to you, all sins shall be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they utter; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin.” Jesus was ridiculed and persecuted, yet on the cross He said: "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." (Luke 23:34) The Holy Spirit convicts the world concerning sin. So to deny the Holy Spirit, to deny the revelation of sin and the Christ, the provision for sin, the demonstration of God’s love on the cross renders one guilty of that sin. We cannot convince people, with our words, that they need a savior. But if we will live as salt and light, if as believers we will love each other, the world will know that we are Jesus disciples. We then can demonstrate the love of God to them, not a love of tolerance and acceptance of sin, but the love of God demonstrated in the cross of Christ.
Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ and precious Holy Spirit thank You for the love and grace demonstrated on the cross. That while I was a sinner, Christ died for me. Thank You Father for drawing me by Your love, to the cross. Thank You Holy Spirit for the conviction of my sins and the revelation that Jesus is the Christ, my Savior and Redeemer. May I live as salt and light in and to the world, that they too may know Your love demonstrated on the cross. Amen.