3 July 2016

posted 1 Jul 2016, 08:44 by C S Paul

3 July 2016

Scripture reading and Sermon

Based on the Lectionary of the Syrian Orthodox Church

Seventh Sunday after Pentecost

    • Evening
    • Morning
    • Before Holy Qurbana
    • Holy Qurbana

Mark 3:20-30New King James Version (NKJV)

A House Divided Cannot Stand

20 Then the multitude came together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread. 

21 But when His own people heard about this, they went out to lay hold of Him, for they said, “He is out of His mind.”

22 And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, “He has Beelzebub,” and, “By the ruler of the demons He casts out demons.”

23 So He called them to Himself and said to them in parables: “How can Satan cast out Satan? 

24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 

25 And if a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.

26 And if Satan has risen up against himself, and is divided, he cannot stand, but has an end. 

27 No one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. And then he will plunder his house.

The Unpardonable Sin

28 “Assuredly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter; 

29 but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation”

30 because they said, “He has an unclean spirit.”

Eternal Sin

Rev. Dr. V Kurian Thomas Valiyaparambil

From the very beginning of Jesus' ministry, the tone was set correctly for what is and what is not an accepted behavior. Jesus had done so many wonderful things during his life time, such as, healing the sick, forgiving the sinners, casting out demons and so forth.

In today's gospel we read that Jesus had an encounter with a group of Jewish scholars who came down from Jerusalem. They came to dispute Jesus' authority. Instead of avoiding them and the issue, Jesus meets with them head-on. In this confrontation, Jesus states something that is a clear warning to everyone who would think of him differently. It is a warning for those who dared to diminish and neutralize his work. Jesus calls their accusation, "SIN". Jesus defines what that sin is.

CONFRONTATION #1:

The scholars had seen and witnessed the miracles Jesus had performed. They could not deny what Jesus had been doing because the evidence was there for anyone to ignore. The Jewish scholars did not bother to compliment Jesus for the good deeds. Instead they decided to attack him for who he claimed to be. They charged Jesus as an agent of Satan and that Jesus was driving out demons by using the power of Satan. To add to the insult, they held him in contempt and were not afraid to show it.

CONFRONTATION #2:

Jesus was never afraid to meet with his attackers. Jesus forced a confrontation with them. They were busy spreading their malicious claim in order to cause doubts on Jesus.

Jesus asked, "How can we be together?" Jesus would further say, "We are mortal enemies, To say we are in union is a sin against God." Jesus had told in no uncertain terms that they were WRONG, and that he had met Satan in the Temptations and that Jesus - not Satan - won.

CONFRONTATION #3:

Jesus warned them that when they accused him by calling God and Satan as being together, that they were on a dangerous territory.

Jesus warned them about their thinking process. Sin starts in the mind. If we allow it to enter, it could stay and grow. It will then be hardened. Sin then will be so easy to act on. It will ultimately lead them to commit sins for which there would never be any cleansing possible. Jesus told them that no one should compare the mercies of God to Satan, but that was what the Jewish scholars have been trying to do. They saw the evidence of the mercies of God, but continued to think differently. Their inner mind was getting darkened and Jesus told them to stop the sin before it took control of them.

CONFRONTATION #4:

Jesus warned them of holding on to that thought. It is one thing to have a thought enter the mind and it is another thing to allow it to remain and feed it. Not only were they nurturing the sin of wrongful thinking, they were also practicing it. They allowed it to grow. They allowed that thought to overtake them and act on it.

Too many people today are willing to accommodate the world around us by throwing away God's Commandments and allow them into thinking until they cannot differentiate between God and Satan. The world has mixed the truth of God with its modernity. This type of thinking will be an insult to the Holy Spirit. Blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven. They are guilty of eternal sin. Jesus sets the truth for all times.


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