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Summary: Sermon for the 2nd Sunday after Pentecost, Year B.

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What Is Wrong With Him? / Mark 3: 20 - 35

Intro: The musical South Pacific was based on the 1947 Pulitzer Prize-winning book, “Tales of the South Pacific” by James Michener. The music was written by Rodgers and Hammerstein. In 1949 the musical opened on Broadway winning 10 Tony awards including all 4 awards for the acting. It was made into a movie in 1958. There are many memorable songs in that movie. One song nearly derailed the production. Here are the words: You've got to be taught to hate and fear. You've got to be taught from year to year. It's got to be drummed in your dear little ear. You've got to be carefully taught. You've got to be taught to be afraid of people whose eyes are oddly made and people whose skin is a different shade. You've got to be carefully taught. You've got to be taught before it's too late, before you are six or seven or eight, to hate all the people your relatives hate. You've got to be carefully taught!

I. What does this song have to do with the scripture passage, you might ask? Perhaps it will become clearer to you when I have finished.

A. VS. 21 – “When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.” The family of Jesus thought he was out of his mind because of what he the things he was doing.

B. When I told my mother I had decided to go to seminary, her response was, “The church has got to be really desperate.” --- Most people have the impression of pastors. You have to be a little crazy to want to do this job because people do treat you differently: they watch what they say, some squirm in your presence, some keep you at arms length and other hold you to a higher standard.

C. The family of Jesus came to “Take charge of him,” Κρατησαι Kratesai to detain, retain, hold fast or to lay hold of. The came to get him because they though he was crazy. He was “out of his mind.” Literally “He has stood outside.” In the deep south they might say, “He’s been out in the sun too long!”

II. VS. 22 – The teachers of the law . . . said, “He is possessed by Beelzebub! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons.”

A. Beelzebub = Lord of the flies / Satan = prince of the demons. Not a character with horns and a tail dressed all in red. It is more subtle.

B. δαιμόνιον daimonion = those who rule and direct human affairs. Whatever it is the controls who you are and what you do. Those are your daimonion (demons). You see, Satan likes to control or dominate our lives. He knows everything about you: your deepest, darkest secrets, your deepest fear, sins and everything with which you struggle.

C. The reality of Beelzebub and Satan become clear when we name the forces and configurations that capture us and cause us to hurt ourselves, others and God: Things like discrimination, materialism, militarism, power and all the “isms” that we are “carefully taught” by our family, relatives, and society.


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