Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

A member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

2688 North Park Drive
Lafayette, CO 80026
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PENTECOST 3 – June 10, 2018 – Mark 3:20-25 “JUDGMENTS – TAKING SIDES”

Introduction:  Grace be to you and peace, from God our Father, and from our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.  Our text is the Gospel Lesson just read, from Mark 3.  We begin with prayer.

 

Dear fellow disciples of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ:

  • We who know the Savior’s great love for us, and the tremendous blessings that He has secured for us – forgiveness, peace with God, and eternal life – find it hard to imagine anyone criticizing or condemning Jesus. It is difficult for us to even hear of it.
  • At the same time, we find it extremely difficult when people make unjust, unloving, and pejorative judgments about us. We understand that we are not perfect, and truthful judgments about us are also painful.  But untruthful and slanderous judgments against us are almost unbearable!
  • So it is helpful, and comforting to us, to contemplate what was said about Jesus during His earthly lifetime and earthly ministry. If anyone was completely innocent and free from blame, it would be Jesus.  And yet as we see in our text, this is not how He was treated or judged. 
  • And of course, when we make judgments, especially those that are of an “existential” nature – which lump people into categories, we are in essence “TAKING SIDES.” The same is true in regard to judgments about Jesus, as He makes clear. 
  • We need to remember this when others judge us – that we are already on one side or the other of God, one side if we believe in Jesus, the other side if we do not believe. So then, those who oppose and judge us also show what side they are on.
  • And so we also need to remember this when we are tempted to render judgment against others. This is a very serious and weighty business.  To judge another means that we are also taking a “SIDE,” the opposite of that person. 
  • Our text is shocking, for in we see that:

I.  The Worst Judgments Were Made About Jesus

A.  His Enemies Judged Him To Be Possessed By Beelzebul, The Devil

 

Text:  “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.”

 

B.  His Family Had Judged That Jesus Was Out Of His Mind, Insane

 

Text:  “When His family heard it [that He could not even eat], they went out to seize Him, for they were saying ‘He is out of His mind.’”

 

Statement:  I am certain that a lot of evil things have been said about me, some true, and some utterly untrue.  But I do not suspect that anyone has judged me to be “demon-possessed” or utterly insane.  Perhaps someone has.  Often our worst and most uncharitable judgments are about those closest to us, and those who are certainly our enemies.  Perhaps the perversity of our enemies’ judgments are understandable, but I struggle to grasp why we tend to do the same with our family! 

 

Application:  Nonetheless, whether it is our enemies or someone close to us, someone we trusted, who has made uncharitable judgments against us, it is comforting to know that people did the same to Jesus.  The consequences of making wrong judgments about Jesus are certainly far more consequential than our judgments of others.  To do so puts us on the wrong side – the wrong side of Jesus, the wrong side of the Holy Spirit, and the wrong side of our Heavenly Father. 

 

Transition:  And this is tragic, for:

 

II.  There Are Only Two Sides – God And the Devil

 

A.  And In The End, It Is God Who Plunders The Devil’s House, And Wins

 

Text:  “If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.  And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.  And if Satan has risen up against himself, and is divided, he cannot stand, but is coming to an end.  But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man.  Then indeed he may plunder his house.”

 

B.  Further, God Forgives, Redeems, And Saves – All those Who Heed The Holy Spirit In Faith

 

Text:  “Truly I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the children of man,  and whatever blasphemies they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin.”

 

C.  But The Devil Loses And Is Condemned

 

Text:  “Satan is cast out . . .  Satan’s house is plundered.”

 

Statement:  Again, we must be very careful in making judgments and taking sides!  If we repent of our sins, and heed the call to believe in and live in God’s gracious mercy and forgiveness, thus taking the side of God, “all sins will be forgiven us.”  However, if we do not heed the Holy Spirit, and blaspheme His witness by rejecting Jesus, this sin of unbelief can never be forgiven – it binds us in eternal death and hell.  Likewise, to make judgments about others can destroy our faith in Christ, for as Jesus warned:  “With the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.” 

 

Application:  Such warning should instill in us a great fear and loathing of ever making an uncharitable judgment again another human being.  For with such uncharitable and erroneous judging we actually set ourselves on the wrong side – not God’s side, but the devil’s side.  And this is unbelief, and blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.  Obviously, this is not God’s will for any of us!

 

Transition:  For:

 

III.  God’s Family, Those On His Side, Do His Will

 

A.  They Repent And Believe In Jesus, Rather Than Judging Him

 

Text:  “Jesus answered them, ‘Who are My mother and My brothers?’  And looking about at those who sat around Him, He said, ‘Here are My mother and My brothers!  Whoever does the will of God, he is My brother and sister and mother.’”

 

B.  So They Live In His Love, His Mercy, And His Forgiveness

 

John 15:9  “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.

 

C.  And So They Love As He Loves Us

 

John 15:12  “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”

 

Statement:  A preeminent feature of Jesus’ love for us is His gracious mercy and forgiveness.  If we abide in His love, and love as He has loved us, we will not engage in that evil and spiritually poisonous judging of others.  Rather, we will live in repentance, and in the joy of God’s forgiveness and gracious gift of salvation – and we will live in this same forgiveness and graciousness toward others.  This excludes uncharitable judging that puts on the wrong side, the side of the devil, and not God!

 

Application:  So let us take care to remain members of Jesus’ family – by a life of humble repentance and faith, and gentleness and love toward others.  Then our witness to God’s love will be consistent with our character and being, demonstrating that we are among those who “abide” in His love! 

 

Conclusion:  Once again, when we consider the judgments leveled against Jesus by His enemies and His family – that He was demon-possessed and insane, and are repulsed, let us remember that our improper judgments against others are just as dastardly.  The result is the same – we put ourselves on the devil’s side, and are opposed to God.  This will never turn out well for any of us!

 

Rather, let us remain in repentance and humble faith in Jesus.  Then we will also learn to be humble and gracious toward others, thus demonstrating the power of the love of Jesus in our hearts and minds.

 

This is the will of Jesus, and of the Holy Spirit, and of our Heavenly Father!  Thankfully, in His great love for us He has given us a true faith in Jesus, and everlasting life!  Amen.

 

Votum:  And the peace of God, which surpasses all human understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds in the true faith, which is in Christ Jesus, even unto life everlasting, Amen.