Humble Hero


How Jesus Related to Family Problems

This chapter is based on Matthew 12:22-50; Mark 3:20-35.

The sons of Joseph were far from being in sympathy with Jesus in His work. The reports about His life and labors filled them with concern. They heard that He devoted entire nights to prayer, that through the day He was surrounded by people and did not even take time to eat. His friends felt He was wearing Himself out. They were unable to find a reason for His attitude toward the Pharisees. Some even feared that He might be losing His mind. HH 144.1

His brothers keenly felt the disapproval that came on them through their relation to Jesus. They were offended and angry that He denounced the Pharisees. They thought someone must persuade Him to stop working in this way, and they got Mary to unite with them, thinking that through His love for her they might succeed in getting Him to be more cautious. HH 144.2

The Pharisees had repeated the charge, “He casts out demons by the ruler of the demons.” Matthew 9:34. Christ told them that those who spoke against Him, not recognizing His divine character, could receive forgiveness; through the Holy Spirit they might see their error and repent. But those who reject the work of the Holy Spirit are placing themselves where repentance cannot come to them. When people willfully reject the Spirit and declare it to be from Satan, they cut off the channel by which God can communicate with them. HH 144.3

The Pharisees did not actually believe the charge they brought against Jesus. Those religious leaders had heard the Spirit’s voice in their own hearts declaring Him to be the Anointed One of Israel. In His presence, they had realized their unholiness and longed for righteousness. But after rejecting Him, it would be too humiliating to receive Him as the Messiah. To avoid acknowledging truth, they tried to dispute the Savior’s teaching. They could not prevent Him from working miracles, but they did everything in their power to misrepresent Him. Still the convicting Spirit of God followed them, and they had to build up barriers to withstand the mightiest Agency that God can bring to bear on the human heart. HH 144.4

God does not blind people’s eyes or harden their hearts. He sends them light to correct their errors. Rejecting this light blinds the eyes and hardens the heart. Often the process is almost imperceptible. But when we disregard one ray of light, we numb our spiritual perceptions a little and don’t recognize as clearly the second revealing of light. So the darkness increases, until it is night in the heart. This is what had happened with these Jewish leaders. They credited the work of the Holy Spirit to Satan. In doing this, they deliberately chose deception, and from that time on, they were controlled by Satan’s power. HH 144.5

Closely connected with Christ’s warning about the sin against the Holy Spirit is a warning against idle and evil words. Words are an indication of character. “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” Words also have power to react on the character. People are influenced by their own words. Often under a sudden prompting by Satan, they say something that they do not really believe. But the expression reacts on the thoughts, and they come to believe what they spoke at Satan’s prompting. Having once expressed an opinion or decision, often they are too proud to retract it. They try to prove themselves right, until they believe that they are. HH 145.1

It is dangerous to speak a word of doubt, dangerous to question and criticize light. Careless and irreverent criticism reacts on the character, strengthening irreverence and unbelief. Many people have gone on until they were ready to criticize and reject the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, “For every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” Then Jesus added a warning to those who had been impressed by His words but had not surrendered themselves for the Holy Spirit to live in them. “When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. HH 145.2

Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there.” HH 145.3

Like today, through the grace of God many in Christ’s day were set free from evil spirits that controlled their being. They rejoiced in the love of God, but then they did not surrender themselves to God daily to allow Christ to live in the heart. When the evil spirit returned, with “seven other spirits more wicked than himself,” they were completely dominated by the power of evil. HH 145.4