The Sin Against the Holy Spirit (Mark 3:20-35) Pentecost 2B
Second Sunday after Pentecost Trinity Lutheran Church
10 June 2012 Murdock, NE
+ Jesu Juva +
The Preacher is in trouble! Deep, deep trouble!
His fam has made a drastic decision! They have to do something! Things have gotten way out of hand! Extremely troubling! Time for an intervention! Time for the straightjacket and rubber room with pink walls! Someone call the psychiatric ward and reserve a padded cell! They have come “to take charge of him!”
Why? Because the Preacher’s passion for His ministry has become … (what shall we call it?) … yes, that’s right, AN OBSESSION! A MANIA! He has crossed the border of normal ministry to an obsessive-compulsive fanaticism! Ever since His baptism in the Jordan by cousin John the Baptist, He’s been fixated with a Genesis 3:15 like Messiah complex! He really thinks and acts like He’s the Genesis 3:15 Savior of the world!
He behaves as if He’s the one come to crush Satan’s pointy head as promised to Adam, Eve, the world, and you! Along the way He seems to have brainwashed a whole boatload of folks. He has a special group of 12 that follow Him! And now look at the crowds! He contends that all these folks who “believe” in Him as the Genesis 3:15 Messiah are His real family, “his brothers and sisters!” They’re packed tighter than sardines in that house. So jam-packed that the Preacher and the twelve are, “not even able to eat.” That’s just not normal ministry!
His mother and brothers have come to a conclusion. Their relative, the preacher, is “out of his mind.” One brick short of a theological load! Not quite playing with a full biblical deck! There must be a religious screw loose! So it is time to save Him from Himself before it’s too late! Nothing good can come from this kind of delusional, maniacal ministry!
Then the top dog theologians and seminary professors arrive from Jerusalem Inc.! So very concerned! Can’t be having the people hear any more of this preacher’s homiletical ravings! Can’t be having anyone actually believe with their heart that this preacher is truly the Messiah — the Promised One come to do in Satan and establish the kingdom of God on the earth! Can’t be having any preacher, let alone this one, get in the way of Jerusalem Inc. and her ministry of salvation! This preacher is a threat to Jerusalem Inc’s own salvation scheme. And you know what you do with preachers that stand in the way of the institution, don’t you? Yes, that’s right! You get rid of Him! Permanently!
The quickest way to get that ball rolling is to play a big theological trump card hidden up your sleeve! Jerusalem Inc.’s infallible ruling after deliberative, fervent prayer and most certainly a unanimous vote is this: THIS PREACHER CANNOT POSSIBLY BE THE SAVIOR! That’s simply impossible! And we will no longer allow it! So Jerusalem Inc. literally DEMONIZES the preacher! The preacher, Jerusalem Inc. inerrantly and unerringly pronounces, “HAS AN UNCLEAN SPIRIT! He is possessed by Beelzebul!”
For those of you who don’t know: Beelzebul = Satan! THE PREACHER IS SATAN IN THE FLESH! “By Beelzebul the preacher is driving out demons!” they conclude. He’s Satan at work in our midst! Satan we say! DO NOT … WE REPEAT … DO NOT EVER PUT YOUR TRUST IN THIS PREACHER! DO NOT BELIEVE ANYTHING HE SAYS! FOR WHAT HE SAYS IS FROM THE DEVIL HIMSELF! And that’s final! Jerusalem Inc. has spoken!”
How about you? What would you do if your son or brother resolutely and relentlessly contended that He, and He alone, was the Genesis 3:15 Messiah? Who incessantly insisted on it as being the Gospel truth? Who relentlessly preached that His actions gave divine evidence that the Spirit of God was at work in Him?
Wouldn’t you agree that He was just a little bit off His rocker, if not totally? Wouldn’t you too go online to try and find a good psychiatrist? Wouldn’t you join Mom and all your brothers and sisters to “take charge of him” in order to put a stop to all His nonsense? Of course you would! In a heartbeat!
Would you dare to defy or contradict Jerusalem Inc.’s infallible pronouncement? Of course not! You’d gladly oblige Jerusalem Inc.! In fact, you’d even get out your wallet in order to make a sizeable donation to the LET’S GET RID OF THE SATAN IN THE FLESH – BEELZEBUL HIMSELF PREACHER campaign!
BUT WHO IS THIS PREACHER THAT YOU’RE SO ANXIOUS TO DEMONIZE, THROW UNDER THE BUS, TURN YOUR BACKS, TURN A DEAF EAR AND TO CATEGORICALLY PRONOUNCE THAT WHAT HE DOES IS SATANIC?
Why, He’s your very own brother Jesus of Nazareth!
You too dare to “take charge of Him!” To put a stop to His preaching that He’s the Savior! You audaciously attempt to muzzle Him! So that no one will ever follow Him again! So that no one will ever believe in Him again! You bulldoggishly come to take Him away because you say that, “He is out of His mind!” You brazenly agree with Jerusalem Inc. that He’s in league with the devil! That when He casts out demons He’s doing it all with the help of the “prince of demons, Beezebul himself!” With all the capital city theologians you too dare to call the DIVINE satanic!
Do you realize how utterly silly that is? Who needs the rubber room now? Who is it that needs a shrink? “If I’m possessed by Satan,” Jesus declares, “then Satan is driving out Satan? That’s just silly! You’re really grasping at straws now! If I’m demon-possessed or Satan in the flesh as you contend, then Satan’s kingdom is divided against itself! If fact, Satan’s reign is over! You’re at least bright enough to know that a house divided against itself cannot stand, right? Surely you understand that Satan would not do this to himself, right?”
However, your evaluation or theological position of your Brother Preacher Jesus has some serious spiritual ramifications! As serious as a theological heart attack that sends you to an eternal death! After all, the ministry of Jesus done for sinners that climaxes on Good Friday and Easter Sunday is the Holy Spirit in full work mode!
In the Holy Spirit-filled deeds and words of Jesus the kingdom or reign of God Himself has come to the earth! Has come to you in fact!
The power of Jesus over demons in His earthly ministry for you is proof that He is the Messiah! That He is the Savior for you! When Jesus cast out demons in His ministry He demonstrated that He and He alone was in charge! That He, through the Tree of His Calvary dying, has truly broken and conquered Satan who from the tree in Eden deceived and ruined Adam, Eve and all of us in the Genesis 3 temptation!
But now divine Son of God Brother Jesus has entered Satan’s crib and plundered his house! Divine Son of God Brother Jesus has robbed Satan’s house by rescuing you, me, Adam and Eve, and a whole world full of sinners, once held captive but now set free through our Brother’s shed blood that stains red the Tree at Mount Calvary!
Our Brother Jesus would not listen to the Satanic temptation to “come down from the cross and then we will believe in you!” (Mark 15:32) He stayed put! To the bitter end! Winning salvation for you by His bloody sacrificial death!
To deny THAT work of Jesus, to refuse to let His divine forgiveness count for you, or to call that Divine work satanic is blasphemy! Such blasphemy, without repentance, ends hellaciously! Jesus warns you while there is still time to for repentance: “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.”
I hope you aren’t reaching for the straightjacket! I pray you’re not phoning Jerusalem Inc.! I think Brother Jesus finally has your attention! Usually the “unforgiveable sin against the Holy Spirit” topic raises a few heads and perks up some ears! I’ll bet you a complimentary lifetime membership to Quarry Oaks that He’s got your full attention now! If I had $100.00 every time I have been asked: “Pastor, what is the sin against the Holy Spirit?” I could buy my own Oaks membership five times over!
Now I’m going to answer that question! And I’ll do it for free! Really! No charge! This could just be one of the few sermons in my ministry here at Trinity that you’ll remember! If so, PTL! (PTL = Praise the Lord!) Thanks be to God!
Here’s the answer to the question. The unforgiveable sin against the Holy Spirit is the unrepentantly conscious, stubborn, malicious opposition to Jesus! After all, the Holy Spirit’s job, as we heard on Pentecost Sunday, is to bear witness to Jesus! To bring glory to Jesus! When you unrepentantly oppose Jesus and hold your sin outside of His Good Friday forgiveness, then you’re clearly sinning against the Holy Spirit no matter what your pious excuses are!
The unforgiveable sin against the Holy Spirit is unrepentantly denying who Jesus is, namely, the very Son of God come down from heaven to redeem sinners of whom you and I absolutely qualify!
The unforgiveable sin against the Holy Spirit is unrepentantly living outside your Baptism where you were buried with Christ into His saving death for you! That is to say, when you purposely live as if His Good Friday achievement of forgiveness and His resurrection for you are absolute nothings. That you purposely avoid the Good Friday delivery of forgiveness in Christ’s own full-of-the-Holy-Spirit-Word-of-the-Gospel preached, bestowed in Holy Baptism, and given in the Lord’s Supper as if it’s satanic not divine!
There is still time to repent of this! There is time today for repentance — the heart of which is faith. Faith in your Brother Jesus as the Genesis 3:15 Savior! Trusting that His Good Friday Crushing The Head of Satan Ministry is totally for you! For your salvation! For your total and complete forgiveness!
No need to “take charge of him!” He’s taken charge of your enemy Satan, looted his home, bound him and rescued you from his prison! Brother Jesus has taken charge of your sin by dying for it and forgiving it! “I tell you the truth, all the sins and blasphemies of men will be forgiven them,” is His promise to you!
Brother Jesus looks around in this house today! He looks at you “seated around Him” in His Holy Spirited Word and Sacrament to repentantly receive the forgiveness and salvation He promises — and He categorically declares: “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God’s will, namely, whoever trusts in Me and my divine ministry for their salvation is my brother and sister and mother!”
You are in that family! It is the holy Christian Church where Jesus gathers you around Himself and where the Holy Spirit delivers all the benefits of Jesus’ Good Friday death on the Tree of the cross through the Word and Sacrament! For your eternal salvation!
In the Name of Jesus!