Summary: Jesus did not use violence to tie up the strongman in our house, in our self. Jesus knew that the only way to release us from fear, from the strongman in our live is love. Love conquers all. He works love in us to release us from fear.
Mark 3: 20-35
RELEASED FROM FEAR
Jesus had just started his ministry on earth. He had gathered to him twelve disciples and was touring the countryside bringing healing into people’s lives. His reputation preceded him and wherever he went there was a crowd gathered around him and pondering, ‘Who is this man?’ It appeared that a new movement had started in the land. Many people where either: hopeful, or anxious and even fearful of what it might bring.
On one occasion early in his ministry, Jesus had entered a house with his disciples and a crowd had gathered. On hearing this Jesus’ family have had enough and left their house to bring him home thinking, ‘he is out of his mind’. Also on hearing this, the teachers of the law, the church leaders left their house in Jerusalem to come down and to deal with Jesus in their own way. They had enough and also thought that ‘he is out of his mind’. They accused him of being Satan because of the unfamiliar activities that he was doing.
In this picture, there are three groups. The first group is Jesus in the house surrounded by his followers; a picture of unity. The other two groups consisting of the family of Jesus and the church leaders had left their houses to deal with Jesus; a picture of division in their own house. The latter two groups had one thing in common; fear.
Perhaps Jesus’ family feared social ridicule or banishment from the Temple, or they feared for the safety and well being of Jesus. Whatever they thought, it was through their fear that they wanted to bring Jesus home and stop him doing whatever he was doing even if it meant giving life to other people.
Perhaps the church leaders feared that this new movement may appear as a threat to the Roman rulers of the land or even to their own establishment. Upsetting the current rulers could mean violent retribution to the Temple and to the people in the land as history had shown. No wonder they also thought, ‘He is out of his mind’ even when Jesus was giving life to other people.
Where does fear originate?
To answer that, we need to go back to the beginning, back to that old garden. In the Garden of Eden, Satan whispered in the ears of Adam and Eve that they could have what they wanted in life by taking a certain course of action. They did so, which only led them into trouble. Their action of picking the forbidden fruit and biting into it, we see as sin that led to the separation of mankind from God. The forbidden fruit was only a means for Satan to achieve his desired goal. His goal was to create fear into mankind. He knew that fear was the essential ingredient necessary to separate mankind from God who is the source of life. It was through fear that Adam and Eve hid from God in the garden. It was fear that hid them from forgiveness. It was fear that hid them from receiving life. God came looking for Adam and Eve for the purpose of forgiving them and to restore them to life albeit in a changed world that they had created. God through the Holy Spirit continues looking for mankind to deliver you and me from fear so that we may have life albeit in a changed world that we have created.
All of us try hard to keep within the law because we fear the fines and other possible retribution, and that’s good. However, we all have many more fears that rob us of life and keep us from God. Fear is the ‘strongman’ in our house, in our self. Satan rejoices that we have fear; it keeps us from life, from God, and from giving life to others. When we find our self in that condition then indeed Satan has control of our life.
What are your fears?
Do they keep you from having a full life?
Do they keep you from God?
Do they keep you from giving life to others?
In one example, on a larger scale, we have been conditioned to fear the boat people coming to our land. We are anxious that they will take over the land, change the laws, take away our jobs, and make life difficult for us in some way. Instead, we make it difficult for them to have life.
Furthermore, by denying the poor, the hungry, the sick, the orphan, the unemployed, the refugee, by denying these people some sort of welfare then they miss out on life and are further hidden from God. By such actions we show that we behave like Satan who also opposes life. When we fear change then the strongman is in charge of our house.