Who is The Strong Man – 4-5-22

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.” Mark 3:27 NKJV

RELATIONSHIP:

Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.

Do you want to know truth? Be able to discern lies? Know how to figure it all out in these confusing times and have peace? The Bible says Jesus is the truth. I have experienced it and it has changed my life. I was once a hot mess of sin, promiscuity, drug and alcohol use and so much more. But I was lost and when I could not find my way, or find a truth, I numbed it with bad choses. When I found Jesus, and truth – I found peace and deliverance from those things.

If you want a relationship with God without truth you will get the counterfeit, hypocritical Christianity that has kept some of you away for too long. You need truth and relationship. You need to be honest with yourself and God (including honest repentance) and God will reveal truth to you. It becomes the two way, interaction that your relationship with God is built on. This is why Jesus is called the truth, because he is our only way to the Father. 

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

BIBLE READING:

Dear Heavenly Father – Please give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of who you are, who Jesus is, and who the Holy Spirit is. Open the eyes of our understanding, please, so we may know the hope of our calling and the vast sovereignty and power of the grace of the cross. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word and our sound mind. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is the Book of Mark chapter 3 (embedded below for your convenience in the NKJV). 

Healing on the Sabbath

And He entered the synagogue again, and a man was there who had a withered hand. So they watched Him closely, whether He would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might [a]accuse Him. And He said to the man who had the withered hand, [b]“Step forward.” Then He said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they kept silent. And when He had looked around at them with anger, being grieved by the hardness of their hearts, He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored [c]as whole as the other. Then the Pharisees went out and immediately plotted with the Herodians against Him, how they might destroy Him.

A Great Multitude Follows Jesus

But Jesus withdrew with His disciples to the sea. And a great multitude from Galilee followed Him, and from Judea and Jerusalem and Idumea and beyond the Jordan; and those from Tyre and Sidon, a great multitude, when they heard how many things He was doing, came to Him. So He told His disciples that a small boat should be kept ready for Him because of the multitude, lest they should crush Him. 10 For He healed many, so that as many as had afflictions pressed about Him to touch Him. 11 And the unclean spirits, whenever they saw Him, fell down before Him and cried out, saying, “You are the Son of God.” 12 But He sternly warned them that they should not make Him known.

The Twelve Apostles

13 And He went up on the mountain and called to Him those He Himself wanted. And they came to Him. 14 Then He appointed twelve, [d]that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach, 15 and to have [e]power [f]to heal sicknesses and to cast out demons: 16 [g]Simon, to whom He gave the name Peter; 17 James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James, to whom He gave the name Boanerges, that is, “Sons of Thunder”; 18 Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Cananite; 19 and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him. And they went into a house.

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.”

Jesus’ Mother and Brothers Send for Him

31 Then His brothers and His mother came, and standing outside they sent to Him, calling Him. 32 And a multitude was sitting around Him; and they said to Him, “Look, Your mother and Your brothers [h]are outside seeking You.”

33 But He answered them, saying, “Who is My mother, or My brothers?” 34 And He looked around in a circle at those who sat about Him, and said, “Here are My mother and My brothers! 35 For whoever does the will of God is My brother and My sister and mother.”

Footnotes

  1. Mark 3:2 bring charges against
  2. Mark 3:3 Lit. Arise into the midst
  3. Mark 3:5 NU omits as whole as the other
  4. Mark 3:14 NU adds whom He also named apostles
  5. Mark 3:15 authority
  6. Mark 3:15 NU omits to heal sicknesses and
  7. Mark 3:16 NU and He appointed the twelve: Simon . . .
  8. Mark 3:32 NU, M add and Your sisters

MEMORY VERSE CHALLENGE:

Isaiah 41:10- “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”

STUDY/DEVOTIONAL:

Jesus grieves because of the hardness of their hearts. Jesus grieves. In anger He heals it says – but that anger is not and evil anger (the kind man is familiar with) – it is love – pure love. It has suffered long, immeasurably and more than we are capable of fully understanding. So in love, he says “enough” – and a cripple is healed – but not for the sake of the cripple alone, but that all my see and have the opportunity to believe. Jesus healed on the Sabbath.

Today’s reading picks up with a similar story line – Jesus breaking the rabbinical law of the time. Irony, the Rabbis later changed this law and their argument to do so was the same argument Jesus uses – to do good on the Sabbath. And as much as this become a theme in the Gospels (healing on the Sabbath), what always stands out to me is the emotions of Christ.
I might even say it’s His humanity, but if we care created in God’s image, then maybe we feel, because God feels – then it is His deity and godliness that I am struck by. Moreover – His love.  To grieve and continue to try to reach people who seemed to go out of their way to NOT believe. He gave them signs and wonders and they came back asking for signs and wonders, having already rejected and not believed the ones they saw.  How can you see a cripple made whole and reject that it happened – the man is standing in front of you whole!
I can relate. I can feel it. I can grieve too.
Have you ever watched a movie and suddenly wanted to pray for the characters – but it is make believe and your prayers would be in vain? I feel that same urge to pray for these Pharisees – Oh Lord Jesus, that some of them would open their hearts before they dies and see the truth and repent! What a huge burden to suffer all eternity with: the knowledge that they took part in the plot to kill the very savior they believed they were praying for and believing for.
What an intense lesson for us – to be ever so cautious when surrounded by false prophets and false teachers in this age – that we being zealous for God, do not betray him. Let us be healed from any crippling plot of the enemy over our lives and stand fast therefore in the liberty!
Verse 3 – “Step forward” and receive from God today!

Well – by verse 7 only 3 chapter in, Jesus has a problem – crowd control. Many places we frequent have orderly queues, with ropes or walls or other physical barriers to help manage crowd control – Jesus has none of that. He had a zealot and the son’s of thunder, but apparently they were not very good with controlling the masses. So they had to withdraw to the sea in a boat (verses 7-12) – but as much as he had to pull away – Jesus also (in spirit) pressed in because of the love and compassion. He kept healing the sick and casting out demons. And every time he did, news spread and ore came to see and touch him and maybe get their own experience = and the more Jesus had to withdraw.

The enemies’ number one method of attack is to try to overwhelm you. Jesus’s ministry was overwhelmed with needy people and the enemy meant to sink the ministry with exhaustion, chaos, and overrunning it. Be aware and watch out for it in your own life. Be not weary in doing good. It is not of God – withdraw to God.
Jesus then counter attacks. SO many Christians stay on the defense, reacting to the attacks when we are the head and not the tail, above only and not beneath – and in all our ways and endeavors we are highly favored, greatly blessed, and blessed to be a blessing. Be a blessing – that is not a defensive move – it is offensive move! There is a day and time to say: “IT IS WRITTEN” and take what the Lord is giving us, reaching right through the enemy lines dragging a chair with you and sitting down at the table set for you in the presence of the enemy! Where ever your feet tread – this is your promise!
SO Jesus – empowers man, starting with the 12 disciples – the offensive move is to divide and conquer! As one man, he was overwhelmed, and when we are overwhelmed – do not pair back the work the Lord will multiply the laborers – delegate, divide and conquer! We are MORE than conquerors! (But first withdraw – to the sea, with the Lord for guidance.)

In case you did not get the divide and conquer lesson in Jesus multiplying His laborers, don’t worry, neither did the enemy. The enemy did not even understand what hit him! And those who were being influenced by the enemy stood there so confused they exclaimed – you must be of the devil because you cast out devils! Surely a dizzying warp in logic!
So – a house divided cannot stand.
But the disciples divided the work of healing and such – not dividing the enemy. You see, it is spirit against spirit – and we walk in the spirit and fight in the spirit, then see the manifestation in the world.  The Word is our sword, but we have a greater weapon than the sword! Obedience to God’s will and furthering the Kingdom is a greater weapon! Yes! Ministering to those around us. You do not need to be a pastor, or evangelist to “go ye therefore” into your neighborhoods – into your grocery store – into your work – into the community in which God placed you – and minister to people. Meet there needs. Buy their groceries as an offering to the Lord, which is high worship. Yes, giving to God is high worship, better than any song ministry on earth!

“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.” Verse 27

In the sake of scriptural purity, in context – the strong man is satan and Jesus speaks of going into His house and bringing it down – a foreshadowing of the resurrection and Jesus fulfilling Atonement Law.
However, the principle is truth, even out of context.
The enemy comes to your door – and even though you have prayed a head of protection around your house (or since you gave it to God – His house) somehow the enemy breaks in. Yes, and his plan is to bind the strong man of the house. Did I tell you the latest wave of vandalism against my house was broken basement windows? Doesn’t look like anyone was able to get in. And the basement can only be accessed from outside, so they would not be able to get into the home. Yet the enemy has tried to get in! Death encroach and my fish all died. Suddenly, and with no signs of illness or trauma. My puppy also got ill. BUT when I am weak, His is strong! NOT TODAY SATAN!!! You must bind the strong man first! And you were confused, when you thought that was me! The strong man of this house is JESUS CHRIST! WHO HAS ALREADY WON THE VICTORY!!!!
So as I write, a friend has an extra basement window (from a remodel he did) and he will be replacing the broken one AND the puppy is laying here next to me alive, bathed in prayer and anointing oil. (She is always eating wood and furniture and things she shouldn’t, so without spending a million dollars on x-rays or ultrasound, and I see she is eliminating and vomiting also eating and drinking – vet said we can wait and see if she works it out. She may have already.)

Speaking of the strong man, and then our bodies being the house – then our being or soul is the strong man (unless we die and let our spirit, filled by the Holy Spirit, reign as the strong man). And this leads us to Mark’s next thought – the unpardonable sin. When one blasphemes against the Holy Spirit – there is no forgiveness or ability to cast demons off you. The state of some of those Pharisees, must have been such. It is not an easy concept – what this blaspheme must be.  If you fear you have done it, if you care because you want to get to heaven, because you are falling in love with Jesus, because you want the power and love of Christ at work in you – because you want God glorified in you so when people see you they see God… then you probably have not committed the unforgiveable sin.
It is inevitable that whenever this verse pop’s up or the concept comes up in a discussion – that, the accuser of the brethren (satan’s minions) also pop in to remind you of every time you took the Lord’s name in vain, and to remind you of every sin you ever committed and to tell you it was so bad it blasphemed the Holy Spirit.  BUT my friends, THERE IS NOW THEREFORE NO CONDEMNATION!! The Holy Spirit convicts to righteousness and repentance. If there is guilt and condemnation and anticipation of punishment – that is a work of the enemy. Get under foot, satan!! The strong man in my heart is JESUS! And “IT IS FINISHED!” If you have asked Jesus to be your Lord and if you are seeking God and a real relationship with Him – than you have the ability to repent and be saved – you can be and are forgive as soon as you ask for forgiveness.
(Someone who has committed such an offence doesn’t seek God or read blogs like this to learn about God – they do read it to send me scathing messages and attacks but I just pray that God cuts through the lies and if there is a chance for their salvation – He makes a way.)  

Mark finishes today’s reading with “Who is my mother and brothers?”  We spoke more of this in Matthew and will come a crossed it again as we start each quarter of this year with studying a gospel.
It would be out of character for Jesus to not honor His Eema (or Ima, or mother). So, when you read this picture Jesus sitting there teaching and someone interrupts and says “Your family is here to see you” and he says to the crowd: “one more lesson – those who do the will of God are my family. Now if you’ll excuse me, I must go hug my Eema!” 
It is not the hostile disrespectful version I have heard from preachers who did not take Jesus in context of the entire Gospel – It cannot be true. Jesus cannot sin and therefore cannot disrespect His mother. Even if (as some have speculated) His mother came to shut down His ministry. Proof of which I struggle to find. From all written (not speculated) versions of the gospel, Mary seems to support Jesus and not want to stop Him. Remember, she was the FIRST to know He is the Christ. She had an experience that far outweighs modern speculation. If she came bearing wisdom that he should tone it down – well, He was trying – He told everyone who was healed not to tell people and He told ever demonic spirit to shut up and not tell people who he was. He was trying to keep a low profile.

But, back to the theme of today – it is good to have compassion and to do good – the enemy will try to shut it down – Jesus is the strong man in our lives and we are his family:
“For whoever does the will of God is My brother and My sister and mother.” Verse 35.
Doesn’t it always boil back down to being obedient in love?

It is written – I am in His family!! I am a Daughter of the King! And as much as that empowers me and strikes with a deep blow into the evil plans of the wicked, it more so makes me want to lay prostrate at His feet and just pour out my all, through joyful tears from my eyes – washing His feet, while singing “Holy, Holy, Holy is The Lamb!”

***

Thank you for reading in 2022 – a Year of Wisdom and Salvation
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

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