A Major Ministry Malfunction | Mark 3:22

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.”

Facing opposition from His family, Jesus now must contend with hostility from the one quarter that should have recognized Him.  The religious elite should have been awaiting the Messiah, doing their part to shepherd God’s people in preparation of His arrival.  Now that He is here, drawing His crowds, they respond with betrayal. 

They fail in their task.  Scribes, or lawyers, were experts in interpreting the Law of Moses.  Many of them were Pharisees, though they also worked with the priests, and they would have known the specifics about the Messiah.  However, God sent John the Baptist to spark this ministry, and they refuse him.  The Messiah comes, and they discuss in Jerusalem what the official Word against Jesus would be.  It seems their only goal is to remain comfortably seated in authority over the people.

They slander the God they claim to serve.  Instead of fulfilling their God-given roles, they wield their authority to condemn Jesus as a possessed practitioner of darkness.  They cite as His source of power the false god of the Philistines in Ekron was Ba’al-Zebul (“Lord, the Prince”); Beelzebub, as the KJV and NKJV has, is a title of derision from 2 Kgs 1:3, mocking him with the name “Lord of Flies.”  Because of their high level of knowledge in God’s Word, the signs they witness, and their decision to use their position to slander the work God is doing, they are guilty of blaspheming the Holy Spirit (vv. 28–30).

Sadly, there are always false teachers who believe “that godliness is a means of gain” (1 Tm 6:5).  That’s why James 3:1 warns, “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.”  Pray that your pastor would strive to present himself “to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth” (2 Tm 2:15).  If you don’t have a church that shepherds God’s people for the Lord Jesus, find one that does.

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