The Lord of Space and Time (Mark 2:18-35)

I’ve always enjoyed Doctor Who, but there was a moment when David Tenant’s character wanted me to shout “No” at the screen and that’s the moment when he declares himself lord of Space and time. There is only one person who owns that title, The Doctor is just an ordinary alien.

Here we see the Lordship of Jesus first in his control over the Old Testament Laws. As Lord, he is the one that made the rules that govern us and so he can determine their application and purpose.  The religious leaders of the day, just like people today had taken God’s good laws which were for their benefit and created a heavy burden. Jesus challenges that. The Law is for man’s benefit not the other way round.

This is seen as he challenges assumptions about fasting. It is not a time for fasting and morning when he is present but rather for feasting and rejoicing (2:18-22).  It also means that he claims authority over the Sabbath, just as King David as God’s righteous, anointed ruler could benefit. Jesus is greater than David (2:23-8). Note that the Sabbath theme links us to 3:1-6 as Jesus heals on the Sabbath.  Jesus is also linked with David as both kings were pursued by those seeking their lives.  There is an incredible irony here that he is accused of being a law-breaker but he uses the Sabbath to give healing and life whilst his enemies use it to seek to kill and destroy.

Jesus’ authority is recognised by the enemy as demons cannot deny his identity. It is not just that he is more powerful than them but rather his goodness that gives him authority. He is the Holy One. (3:7-12) It is the Holy One of Israel that he establishes the new kingdom by appointing the 12 as new tribal heads (3:13-19)

Yet Jesus’ critics still choose to doubt him. Even his own family question his sanity (3:20-21).  The religious leaders accuse him of using Satanic power to cast out demons. Jesus points to the stupidity  of this. It would mean Satan was engaged in civil war. Rather a greater king and a greater kingdom has come. Not only are their claims stupid but they are offensive to the point of blasphemy. The blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is to resist his work and harden your heart by begin so twisted in your conscience that you confuse good with evil. It is this that makes it unforgiveable because you refuse the very means of grace offered to you (3:22-30).[1]

Jesus is establishing a kingdom and a family. There is intimacy here and he draws us into royalty!  His family is not about flesh and blood relations but about the work of the Holy Spirit.

Big Theme: The authority of Jesus challenges our petty legalism

Questions to consider

  1. What does it mean to be a spiritual mother/brother/sister?
  2. Some people may benefit from a closer look at what the unforgivable sin is

[1] It is perhaps helpful to address the question “could I commit the unforgivable sin.”  I usually respond by saying that the very fact you ask the question indicates a tender conscience rather than one that is hardened against God. 

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