Who is Jesus?
This question is one of, if not the pivotal question. Who is Jesus? Was he just a teacher, a healer, a miracle worker? Was he a made-up character? Was he just a founder of a new religion like Muhammad, Siddhartha, or Joseph Smith? Or was he really the Son of God?
This is the ultimate question. The answer you give to this question is number one most important answer. This answer has complete bearing on the entire course of your life.
Who is Jesus?
This is a question that people have been trying to answer since the time a little baby was born in a manger in Bethlehem. People are still asking it and wrestling with it today. And Mark was especially interested in answering this question for his readers.
In Mark 3, we see an interesting attempt at some religious leaders to answer this very question. Who is Jesus? Well, obviously he must be a servant of Satan. (o.O)
You see, Jesus had been going around healing people and casting out demons. He was single-handedly overthrowing the powers of darkness and evil. The answer to their question is so glaringly obvious, but it’s not an answer they like.
For them to admit that he was casting out demons by the power of God meant that they would allow for him to be considered one of God’s holy servants. Only those in good standing with God could receive this kind of power through him (think Moses and the Prophets who also did miraculous signs). And if this is the case – if Jesus is in good standing and is blessed by God – then his teachings were legitimized. And these were not teachings that the religious leaders liked.
So for them to admit that Jesus was doing these things by the power of God would be to concede defeat and forfeit their pomp, pride, and prestige. And who wants to do that?
So keep in mind that these religious leaders are calling Jesus a servant of Satan (o.O) But earlier in that same chapter, we see demons acknowledging him as the Son of God! (Mark 3:11-12)
Jesus knows what their saying, so in response he quotes Abraham Lincoln, “A nations divided against itself cannot stand.” (Just kidding, Abe quoted Jesus here, but Shhh…don’t tell the government). Jesus is using a parable to point out the absurdity of their claim. Satan is not waging war on himself. This is a full frontal attack on Satan by the armies of heaven, with Jesus as the general leading the charge.
Then he says something that gets a lot of Christians all wound up and anxious, “I tell you the truth, all the sins and blasphemies of men will be forgiven them. But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven. He is guilty of an eternal sin.” Just a brief note about this – 1)If you are a Christian, you have no reason to worry about this. Pay attention to that first part about forgiveness. 2)This is an ongoing blaspheme. Whoever continually denies the saving power of the Holy Spirit at work in the world without ever repenting.
I’ll leave you with one of my favorite teachings from C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity:
A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would be either a lunatic – on a level with a man who says he is a poached egg – or else he would the the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon; or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.