On one occasion when Jesus cast out demons, he was engaged by the Pharisees in an exchange of arguments. He gave an illustration to show that people could not remain neutral. If they were not whole-heartedly committed to him, in the end they would by against him. They would be like a person who benefits temporarily be being cleansed of demons, but because he does nothing positive to fill his life with better things, he becomes possessed by even worse demons. The people of Jesus’ time benefited temporarily from his gracious ministry, but if they did not positively turn from their sin and accept him as the God-sent Saviour, they would in the end be under a more severe condemnation than they were originally.
A certain woman from the crowd thought that Jesus’ mother must be especially happy in having such a son. Jesus admits that she was happy – that it was an honor to be his mother, but he says that the chief happiness, the highest honor, was to obey the word of God. Compared with this, all earthly distinctions and honors are as nothing. Man’s greatest dignity is in keeping the holy commandments of God, and in being prepared for heaven.
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