Jesus Faces Opposition From Both Friend And Foe

I think of David Livingstone, the pioneer missionary to Africa, who walked over 29,000 miles. His wife died early in their ministry and he faced stiff opposition from his Scottish brethren. He ministered half blind. His kind of perseverance spurs me on. As I run, I remember the w … More

Opposition

In the midst of a very busy schedule we find Jesus facing opposition from both friend and foe. News had reached His relatives in Nazareth (twenty-five miles away) that Jesus was out of His mind and doing crazy things so they came to try to talk some sense into Him. His own brothers did not believe in Him during this time (Jn. 7:5). Perhaps these are some of the things that made them feel that way:

  1. Jesus had left home and the carpenter’s business at Nazareth when it was a flourishing business from which he could at least have made a good living. He had gone out to be a wandering preacher who had no place to lay his head.
  2. Jesus was obviously on the way to a head-on collision with the orthodox leaders of his day. No one could take on the Scribes and the Pharisees and hope to get away with it.
  3. Jesus had started a little society of his own and a very queer society it was. There were some fishermen; there was a reformed tax-collector; there was a fanatical nationalist.  They were not the kind of people whom any ambitious man would particularly want to know.

At the same time the religious experts in the law from Jerusalem walked one hundred miles to Capernaum to check on this fanatic prophet from Nazareth and put a stop to what He was doing. At least Jesus’ relatives meant well, but these religious leaders who couldn’t deny the reality of Jesus’ power tried to say His supernatural activities were carried out by the power of the devil. This is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit (v. 29) and those who were guilty of this sin will never have forgiveness. Such blasphemy revealed hearts that were stubborn, and totally unworthy.

Application

Have you ever felt misunderstood by your family or others? Note how gracious Jesus was in dealing with these issues? I need to get my family thinking about how to deal with opposition.

Mark 3:20-30 (English Standard Version)

Then he went home, and the crowd gathered again, so that they could not even eat. And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for they were saying, "He is out of his mind." 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." And he called them to him and said to them in parables, "How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but is coming to an end. 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. "Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the children of man, and whatever blasphemies they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin"-- for they were saying, "He has an unclean spirit."

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