Assurance – confidence that we are truly in the family of God (Christians) – is something that many, even mature believers, struggle to have.
In seasons of doubt we may wonder if we truly believe.
As we struggle with ongoing sin, we may wonder if we are filled with the Spirit.
Experiencing a lack of assurance can be unsettling, depressing even debilitating.
Mark, as he records for us the many interactions Jesus has, wants to demonstrate – not say, like you might see in 1 John – what it looks like be a true Believer.
Through this, Mark wants to dispel any uncertainty, leading to a clarity either way.
Mark wants us to see that neither Acquaintances – familiar with Jesus but not faith filled followers – nor Enemies of Jesus are in the family of God.
He also wants us to see that genuine Disciples of Christ – having a sure commitment to follow Jesus, despite their imperfections and need for salvation – are in the family of God
Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the sea, and a great crowd followed, from Galilee and Judea 8 and Jerusalem and Idumea and from beyond the Jordan and from around Tyre and Sidon. When the great crowd heard all that he was doing, they came to him. 9 And he told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, lest they crush him, 10 for he had healed many, so that all who had diseases pressed around him to touch him. 11 And whenever the unclean spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, “You are the Son of God.”12 And he strictly ordered them not to make him known.
The Twelve Apostles
13 And he went up on the mountain and called to him those whom he desired, and they came to him. 14 And he appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach 15 and have authority to cast out demons. 16 He appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter); 17 James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James (to whom he gave the name Boanerges, that is, Sons of Thunder);18 Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Zealot,[a] 19 and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.
20 Then he went home, and the crowd gathered again, so that they could not even eat. 21 And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for they were saying, “He is out of his mind.”
Blasphemy Against the Holy Spirit
22 And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and “by the prince of demons he casts out the demons.” 23 And he called them to him and said to them in parables, “How can Satan cast out Satan?24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.