Readings: Proper 5B
Jesus Has Defeated the Devil
and Released Us from the Bondage of Sin and Death
The devil deceived us, enticing us to disregard and disobey the Word of God and driving us to hide “from the presence of the LORD God.” But the Lord, in His mercy, promised a Savior, who would set Himself against the devil on our behalf (Gen. 3:8–15). The Son of Man came, the incarnate Son of God, conceived and born of the woman. He “first binds the strong man,” Satan, by atoning for the sins of the world, thereby removing the condemnation of the Law and the fear of death (Mark 3:27). Now He plunders the devil’s house by calling all men to repent. Though He appears to be “out of his mind” (Mark 3:21), He fulfills the will of God and makes of us His own brothers and sisters. Therefore, “we do not lose heart,” despite the suffering, sin and death that we experience in this fallen world. “He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus.” By His grace, we are “being renewed day by day.” For the Gospel is daily bringing us into His presence, not for punishment, but for “an eternal weight of glory” (2 Cor. 4:14–17).
Old Testament: Genesis 3:8-15
8 And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” 11 He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” 12 The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” 13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
14 The Lord God said to the serpent,“Because you have done this,cursed are you above all livestockand above all beasts of the field;on your belly you shall go,and dust you shall eatall the days of your life.15 I will put enmity between you and the woman,and between your offspring and her offspring;he shall bruise your head,and you shall bruise his heel.”
1 Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord! 2 O Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my pleas for mercy!
3 If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? 4 But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared.
5 I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; 6 my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning.
7 O Israel, hope in the Lord! For with the Lord there is steadfast love, and with him is plentiful redemption. 8 And he will redeem Israel from all his iniquities.
Epistle: 2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1
4:13 Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak, 14 knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. 15 For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.
16 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
5:1 For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
Gospel: Mark 3:20-35
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.”
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. 26 And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but is coming to an end. 27 But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. Then indeed he may plunder his house.
28 “Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the children of man, and whatever blasphemies they utter, 29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”— 30 for they were saying, “He has an unclean spirit.”
31 And his mother and his brothers came, and standing outside they sent to him and called him. 32 And a crowd was sitting around him, and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers are outside, seeking you.” 33 And he answered them, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” 34 And looking about at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 35 For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.”
Almighty and eternal God, Your Son Jesus triumphed over the prince of demons and freed us from bondage to sin. Help us to stand firm against every assault of Satan, and enable us always to do Your will.