“When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it wanders through water-less regions looking for a resting place, but it finds none. Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ When it comes, it finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then it goes and brings along seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and live there; and the last state of that person is worse than the first. So will it be also with this evil generation.”
While he was still speaking to the crowds, his mother and his brothers were standing outside, wanting to speak to him. Someone told him, “Look, your mother and your brothers are standing outside, waiting to speak to you.” But to the one who had told him this, Jesus replied, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” And pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”
This is the first passage I’ve read that completely stumped me. But my husband and I grabbed a Study Bible and put our heads together, and I think I understand now. If Jesus casts out a demon and the demon comes back, it will bring more demons and it will be way worse for that person. In the same way, this generation allowed Jesus to cast out their demons and then rejected Him. Rejecting Him is metaphorically like the demon coming back. And the demon will find everything swept and clean because the person doesn’t even believe in the person who cast him out! He’s safe! Therefore, if you reject Jesus it will be worse than if you had never heard of him. Does that make sense?
Which brings up a question that many Christians ask: “What happens to a person who has never even heard of God and Jesus? Will they go to Heaven, or Hell?” While I don’t think we can ever truly understand the answer, I think Jesus hints at it here. It won’t be as bad for them as it is for the people who rejected Jesus, the seven demon people. But they still metaphorically have one demon. So I think that they might suffer. That’s why it’s so important that we get the Word of God to as many people as we can! How convicting for Mission work.
The second half of this passage is related to what I wrote about Matthew 10:34-42. (Although, in this case, I think the family Jesus is referring to are Christians, rather than non-believers.) Your family is not more important than your church family. Because through Jesus we are all one big giant family. It’s easy to read this as if He brushed Mary off. I did at first. But He was busy teaching, and I think He was just saying, “My mom can wait. These people need me just as much as she does.” After all, remember the fifth commandment: Honor your father and mother. But Jesus adds, not at the expense of other believers. In short, share your time and love!