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10th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Ages 6-9): The Opposite of Evil

Mark 3.20-35 

 
 

In the Gospel for this Sunday, Jesus returns home after spending a long time traveling the countryside, healing people and casting out demons or unclean spirits. Crowds of people begin to follow him. They want to see what happens next. They want healing, too.

and the crowd came together again, so that they could not even eat. When his family heard it, they went out to restrain him, for people were saying, “He has gone out of his mind.”

The crowd of people cannot stay away from Jesus. He does not get time to rest alone. He cannot even eat! His family hears about this situation. People tell them that Jesus "has gone out of his mind," that he is not well. They worry about him. They set out to get him.

In the meantime, other people arrive from Jerusalem.

And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, “He has Beelzebul, and by the ruler of the demons he casts out demons.”

These people do not seem worried about Jesus. They say that Jesus has the king of the demons, the chief unclean spirit himself. By saying this, they suggest that Jesus himself is evil.


What is evil?

Evil is the opposite of good.

The opposite of holy.

The opposite of God.

Is Jesus the opposite of good and holy? Is Jesus the opposite of God?


How does Jesus react to this? Does he get angry? Does he argue with them? No. He simply tells some parables. He asks them:

“How can Satan cast out Satan?

Jesus asks them to think about what he does.

Jesus heals people.

Jesus casts demons—unclean spirits—out of people.

Jesus makes people whole.

How can evil do that?

Why would evil work like that?

Evil work is the opposite of good work. Healing people is good work.

Evil work is the opposite of holy work. Casting out demons is holy work.

Evil work is the opposite of God's work. Making people whole is God's work.

Photo by David Clode on Unsplash

“Truly I tell you, people will be forgiven for their sins and whatever blasphemies they utter; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit can never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”— for they had said, “He has an unclean spirit.”

Jesus asks the scribes to think about what they say. They say he has an unclean spirit. That means they think he has a demon. That means they think that Jesus is evil. Think about that, Jesus says.

Is Jesus the opposite of good and holy? Is Jesus the opposite of God?

Calling something good and holy "evil"? We call that the sin of blasphemy. Blasphemy can be forgiven, Jesus says.

But calling God "evil"? Not okay.

Then his mother and his brothers came; and standing outside, they sent to him and called him.

Finally, Jesus' worried family comes. Remember, they have heard that he is out of his mind. Perhaps they think they will save him from the Jerusalem scribes. Perhaps they think they will save him from the crowd of people.

A crowd was sitting around him; and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers and sisters are outside, asking for you.” And he replied, “Who are my mother and my brothers?”

Oh dear. Perhaps Jesus is out of his mind. Does he not remember his family?

And looking at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”

Jesus looks at the crowd of people all sitting in a circle around him, and does not forget his family.

Jesus looks at the crowd of people all sitting in a circle around him and opens his family to include those who do the will of God.

Doing the will of God is good work.

Doing the will of God is holy work.

Doing the will of God is God's work.

The opposite of evil.

Everyone who does the will of God belongs. Like us!

We are his brother and sister and mother.


But not his father. Who is Jesus' father? If we are his brother and sister...then his father is Our Father. Let us pray then together to do the will of God.


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