20 Jesus entered a house. Again a crowd gathered. It was so large that Jesus and his disciples were not even able to eat. 21 His family heard about this. So they went to take charge of him. They said, “He is out of his mind.” 22 Some teachers of the law were there. They had come down from Jerusalem. They said, “He is controlled by Beelzebul! He is driving out demons by the power of the prince of demons.” 23 So Jesus called them over to him. He began to speak to them using stories. He said, “How can Satan drive out Satan? 24 If a kingdom fights against itself, it can’t stand. 25 If a family is divided, it can’t stand. 26 And if Satan fights against himself, and his helpers are divided, he can’t stand. That is the end of him. 27 In fact, none of you can enter a strong man’s house unless you tie him up first. Then you can steal things from his house. 28 What I’m about to tell you is true. Everyone’s sins and evil words against God will be forgiven. 29 But whoever speaks evil things against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven. Their guilt will last forever.” 30 Jesus said this because the teachers of the law were saying, “He has an evil spirit.”
Verse 20 is interesting to try and imagine, the crowd was so thick that they could not even stop and eat! What was it that so captured their attention, and made being near Jesus more important than their jobs, chores, responsibilities and usual routine?…. Was it His ability to heal the sick? Was it His ability to raise the dead? Was it His ability to deliver people from demons? Was it His teaching? Was it His love and compassion? Was it because in a world that demanded of them – taxes, hard work, family responsibility, following Jewish law – Jesus offered them something deep and satisfying?
I can draw near to Jesus at anytime, free entry and no crowds. But do I? Do I expect to encounter His power to heal and set free? Do I expect to encounter His wisdom and life-giving teaching? Do I expect to receive His love and compassion? Perhaps I do not draw near because I do not feel worthy, and I do not expect to receive anything…
The crowd did not deserve Jesus, and yet He freely gave. If I have accepted Jesus as my Lord and Saviour, and trust that He makes me acceptable to God, what is holding me back from running to Jesus? God, please help me to come to Jesus with expectancy. Help me to put aside my responsibilities and demands for a time, such that I can rest with Jesus and enjoy His presence. May my love of Jesus be infectious and lead others to find rest with Him. Amen.
Written by Bethany Waugh