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Preparing for the new


Mark 3.22 And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebub! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons.” The slander of Jesus by the teachers of the law reveals the extreme danger of labelling Him. They may have been sincere in their denunciation of Him and the power by which He worked. They were wrong. The teachers of the law were frightened by the new wine that was bursting their old wineskins they were seeking to protect the law, their tradition, and their stake in it. They may have firmly believed that God and Scripture were on their side. They were wrong. Vicious criticism of others in religious circles stems from a variety of motives: sincere distress over something radically new, genuine alarm over what is perceived to be heresy, a desire to reassure that we belong to the good guys by branding others as the bad guys, or a craven dread of losing power. I for one don’t want to be guilty of pointing a condemning finger at others and need to ask myself whether I may be guilty of obstructing the Spirit who is working in ways that may be foreign and even frightening to me. I must pray for the discernment of the Spirit so that my pride, self-interest, and inflexibility do not cloud my judgment of what the Spirit can do. Āmene


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