Cover to Cover
In Mark 3:22-27, the scribes accuse Jesus of being demon possessed. In verses 28-30, Jesus addresses the unpardonable sin, which is a rejection of eternal salvation. If you want to read more on the unpardonable sin, visit Bible Answers as a free Faith Download on growchurches.com.
In verses 31-35, Jesus says that whoever does the will of God are His family. Jesus wasn’t despising His natural family. We know that He loved them. Jesus was using the family as a teaching point, that we all have a bond in Him as we choose to live after God’s will, or God’s design. Through Christ, we become part of the family of God.
The church does share the bond of family, knitting us together with a bond that should be difficult to tear apart. When separations do happen, they are bothersome to the church family, as if they are not right. Often when people leave a church, they want you to tear you down before they walk out. Church splits, and even church people leaving their home church can be painful, as in a divorce. The enemy works overtime to try to divide instead of unite us. Satan loves to cause people to withdrawal or hop around churches, playing with their desire for family, for belonging, for acceptance. Satan also works to divide churches from other churches, causing disunity in the community. If something on the inside of you tells you this division isn’t right, then you have discernment. It isn’t right. If it grieves the Holy Spirit, then it should grieve us, too. Let’s make sure we are uniting our church family instead of trying to divide it. Let’s be certain we are strengthening other churches instead of weakening them, pulling away at them, tearing them down, or criticizing them. Let’s work together to problem solve and resolve conflict. Let’s do everything in love. When we walk in love, the Spirit of God is free to move. Do you want the anointing to increase in your church? Then guard the spirit of unity.
We see that the size of the Israelite nation at this point is over 600,00 men. This would lead us to believe that there were between 2-3 million people in the desert. However, the way the Hebrews counted was with words, not numbers. For example, the tribe of Reuben would be six and forty thousand and five hundred. That could be written as 46,500. The Hebrew word elep, translated thousand, can also be translated as groups, not a literal number. Furthermore, the word “and” is vav, which can also be translated “or.” Therefore, it could be translated “six and forty clans, or five hundred.” If this is the correct translation, then Instead of millions, it could have been tens of thousands. The smaller number seems more likely since Israel’s population was much smaller than the people in Canaan (Deuteronomy 7:1). The number is irrelevant to our faith, but interesting, nonetheless.
In Numbers 3 and 4, the Levites are counted. The Levites were exempt from war. They were to serve Aaron as priest, or mediator. God also gives instruction on the duties of the Levites, descendants of Levi, being commissioned to serve in the tabernacle.