10th Sunday in Ordinary Time
20 He came home. Again [the] crowd gathered, making it impossible for
them even to eat.
21 When his relatives heard of this they set out to seize him, for they
said, "He is out of his mind."
22 The scribes who had come from Jerusalem said, "He is possessed by
Beelzebul," and "By the prince of demons he drives out demons."
23 Summoning them, he began to speak to them in parables, "How can Satan
drive 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 will not be able
26 An if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot
stand; that is the end of him.
27 But no one can enter a strong man's house to plunder his property
unless he first ties up the strong man. Then he can plunder his house.
28 Amen, I say to you, all sins and all blasphemies that people utter
will be forgiven them.
29 But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never have
forgiveness, but is guilty of an everlasting sin.
30 For they had said, "He has an unclean spirit."
31 His mother and his brothers arrived. Standing outside they sent word
to him and called him.
32 A crowd seated around him told him, "Your mother and your brothers
are outside asking for you."
33 But he said to them in reply, "Who are my mother and [my] brothers?"
34 And looking around at those seated in the circle he said, "Here are
my mother and my brothers.
35 [For] whoever does the will of God is my brother, and sister, and
- "Beelzebub" (2Kgs 1:2) is the name found in some ancient versions,
means "lord of flies" which is a pejorative version of "Beelzebul"
(Mk 3:22) which has various explanations "the lord of dung" or
"the lord of the height or dwelling." None of these is certain.
Beelzebul is also another name for Satan.
- (vv.24-26) The basic point is illustrated in three ways, each having the
same structure; If a kingdom/a household/Satan is divided against
itself, it cannot stand. The unexpressed conclusion is that Jesus in no way
belongs to the realm of Satan.
- (v.29) Jesus in response makes reference to "blasphemy against the Holy
Spirit" an unforgivable sin because it is precisely the rejection of
God's means of forgiveness. God cannot do much to forgive our refusal to be
forgiven. The word "rejection" here is the absolute rejection of forgiveness for
which there will never be any more repentance. Thus, this capability of
rejection may not be possible for us, a constant mind changing human
- (v.29) "blasphemy against the Holy Spirit" or the "sin against the Holy
Spirit" is known as obduracy. But given our capacity to change and to be
converted, and given God's constant invitation to do so, true obduracy
is relatively rare. It refers to someone who has rejected God to the
point of no return.
- (vv.32-34) Among the crowd, Jesus considered his brothers to be only
those "who do the will of God". As part of His family, we, the
followers, must have the same single-minded dedication to the Father's
will as He does. Such dedication may involve conflicts with people
like the scribes from Jerusalem or even among friends and family
- (v.35) Here Jesus did not exclude Mary as His Mother, instead He has
exalted Mary for She has done God's will (i.e. being His Mother, Lk.1:38).
One Main Point
Jesus is possessed by God's spirit and doing God's will. He includes us
as part of the spiritual family by faith if we believe in Him and do the
- Who am I among the crowd? The scribes who accused Him, relatives
who think "he is out of his mind" or am I his brother & sister doing
- In general, relationship requires commitment, time, self-devotion
or self-sacrifice; How much effort do I put in to build an intimate
relationship with Jesus?
- How is my relationship with God? Do I ever doubt His presence?
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A synthesis by the Vietnamese Christian Life (Dong Hanh) Community