Mark 3:20-30 “The Unforgivable Sin”

Posted on November 25, 2008. Filed under: The Gospel of Mark |

Mark 3:20-30 “The Unforgivable Sin”

Sunday 7 November 1999 PM





I. Lunatic

II. Demonic Liar

III. The Unforgivable Sin



Introduction: Have you ever met somebody who worried about whether they had committed the unforgivable sin? Maybe even someone here tonight has wondered about this. As we shall see in this passage the main idea revolves around the question, “Who is Jesus?” We shall find that the unforgivable sin is clearly related to our answer to this question.


I. Lunatic?

            Was Jesus crazy? Was he insane? deluded? confused? Was he a religious kook? In vs 20 we see the ministry of Jesus in public again after the time alone with his disciples. We see Jesus in a house with a gathering crowd that is so pressing that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. We see this same phenomenon today with virtually any famous person out in public- the crowds gather for autographs and interviews. Imagine sitting down in a restaurant and looking over at the next table and seeing your favorite actor, sports star, or recording star. You see others around you stealing glances, whispering to each other with quizzical looks. Finally one brave, impetuous person stands and walks over to the table and asks for an autograph, if the autograph is graciously given what happens next? A flood…. and the person’s meal is not eaten. So it was with Jesus, the text seems to say that Jesus and his disciples were merely at the house to eat a meal and the crowd shows up. Imagine you were the host…. your place would be overrun with strangers, the sick, the curious.

            But the next element was certainly embarrassing for many. The family of Jesus shows up, indicating that this story is taking place either in Nazareth or somewhere close, perhaps back at Capernaum. Did Jesus’ family show up to assist in the ministry? To encourage and support Jesus? NO! They went to take charge of Jesus, the Greek means basically to arrest him, to take him by force, to compel him to return with them.

            Why would they do this? “For they said, ‘He is out of his mind’ ” Stories had come back to Jesus’ family that he was crazy, and they wanted to help him by forcing him to come back home. Imagine  their shame and embarrassment over Jesus. But now imagine how Jesus felt knowing that his own family considered him to be insane.

            Keep in mind that the family unit of those days was considerably tighter and more tradition bound than anything we see today. The freedom we have today to do our own thing was not available then. For Jesus to give up the carpenter business and be a preacher was bad enough, but now apparently the stories had floated back home that he was a radical, he was opposing the Pharisees and scribes, that he was saying some outlandish things, that he was casting out demons and demons talked to him.

            Imagine the condescending attitudes of his brothers; imagine the hurt his mother felt, she was just looking out for her son, her firstborn. This showed some genuine love for Jesus however, they were convinced that his extremism was endangering his health, they wanted to shelter Jesus. John 7:5 says that even his own brothers did not believe in him. They were not agreeing with Jesus about who he was and what his calling or task was.

            We see this similar attitude towards Jesus in our day when people say that he was a good man, even a miracle worker, but that he was not the divine Son of God, the risen Lord. People look at his death as an example of courage, dying heroically for right- anything but a substitutionary, penal, atoning sacrifice that appeases the holy wrath of God the Judge. A comfortable way, a safe way of looking at Jesus is that he was just a good guy that was a little bit misunderstood and even misguided as to who he was and why he came here.

            Look at Acts 26:24. 1Cor 4:10; 1:18.


II. Demonic Liar.

            What did the experts say about Jesus? What did the educated, trained, religious elites think about who Jesus was? vs22 “He is possessed by Beelzebub” Jesus is possessed by a powerful demon and that is the source of his power. By the prince of demons he is driving out demons. This makes Jesus the son of Satan himself in their thinking.

            Notice that they are not denying the mighty works that Jesus is doing, they never disagree that Jesus is a miracle worker or that the demons obey him. What they are saying is that his power comes from the devil. They are calling evil good, and good evil. Isaiah 5:20. This makes Jesus a sorcerer, a master of black magic. The scribes and Pharisees could not believe that anyone who disagreed with them so much could possibly be working on God’s side; hence they are ultimately very arrogant and proud though they could not do the miracles Jesus did.

            How did Jesus answer them? Vss23-27 Jesus is the one who has entered Satan’s house, the strong man’s house, to bind him. Only one stronger than Satan can overthrow him and can bind him and liberate his possessed souls. Isaiah 49:24-25.

            Here we see outright antagonism and hatred for Jesus by his opponents who not only disagree with him but demonize him. This tactic is common in argumentation when you run out of evidence and logic, simply resort to name calling. We see this all too often in our political processes today.


III. The Unforgivable Sin.

            Here Jesus calls it exactly as he sees it, to attribute his works to the devil is to blaspheme the Holy Spirit. To call the work of God the work of the devil is blasphemy. Guilty of an eternal sin, never to be forgiven, extremely harsh words by Jesus.

            What is this sin? Quite simply it is the sin of denying the Spirit’s testimony about who Christ is and what he has done. It is nothing more than and nothing less than rejecting Christ persistently, continuously til the day you die. This sin is unforgivable in the sense that if you die in your sins there is no second chance. This is not talking about a one time mistake, an ignorant mistake. This is a steady, thoughtful, informed rejection out of hatred for Christ.

            Look at the life of Paul Phil 3:5-6. 1Tim1:13 Gal 1:13-14

            The unforgivable sin is not the normal laundry list of sins: adultery and lusts, even perversions I Cor 6:9ff

            If you are even worried that you have committed the unpardonable sin that is a sign that you have not! Take time now to repent of your sin and call out to Jesus for his grace and mercy. Today is the day of salvation, trust in Jesus.


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