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 you may remember the sentence from yesterday’s passage ‘And whenever the unclean spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, “You are the Son of God.” And he strictly ordered them not to make him known.’
Comment: Our society tends to ‘poo-hoo’ talk about evil spirits and spirit possession. The Bible talks quite a bit about another world which we cannot see. God is a Spirit we are told and we must worship him in spirit and in truth. There are seraphim, cherubim, angels (some of them even named), the devil and fallen angels. In this passage we see several things which should cause us to seriously consider the issue of ‘a spirit world’.
- The statement is made as an absolute fact that, when Jesus was ministering among the people, the evil spirits in some of these people recognized who He was and called out. Jesus healed the sufferers. How many there were we don’t know, but it sounds as if there were quite a few.
- And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for they were saying, “He is out of his mind.” Obviously some of the large crowds by the lake followed Him and no doubt they were joined by other locals. There are two ‘they’s in this sentence and it needs clarifying as to whom the word refers. The first, pretty obviously, means the family. The second is not so certain. I suspect that it was some, especially of the theological ruling class and a few in the crowd who were calling him ‘mad’. And I suspect it was because He was doing a powerful healing work that they couldn’t understand.
- The religious leaders came up with the solution that in fact Jesus was a high ranking demon possessed person who was commanding his own troops. “by the prince of demons he casts out the demons.” they said. We’ll need to wait until tomorrow to see how Jesus answers that!
Prayer: Please let me not be bound by the limits of my own experience, but rather be open to all You want me to learn.