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BIBLE STUDY on the Gospel of Mark
Themes: Man with withered hand; many healed by Sea of Galilee; unclean spirits by Sea of Galilee; call of disciples; scribes charge that he casts out demons by Beelzebub; a new relationship.
This chapter is a continuation of the Sabbath Day discussion in chapter 2, which led to a final break with the religious rulers.
It is quite clear from this chapter that Jesus healed multitudes whose stories, if all could be recorded separately, like that of the man let down through the roof, no book could hold them all (Jn.21:25). Mark gives us some insight in this chapter, by letting us consider the multitudes that Jesus healed. Just how many people did Jesus deal with personally? Any attempt to calculate the number would be mere guesswork. It seems that Mark would have us believe that it was extensive. Mark seems to agree with John about the extent of Jesus work. John 21:25 And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen. (KJV)
What a magnificent Saviour we have! Do you know Him as your personal Saviour? If not, why not? He is the ONLY One who can get you into Heaven! (Jn.14:6; Acts 4:12). If you want a mansion in Heaven (Jn.14:2-3), and if you want that inheritance reserved in Heaven for you (1 Pet.1:4), go to Him NOW! He will NOT turn away from you!
Man With Withered Hand (Mark 3:1-6)
About Healing on the Sabbath
Mark 3:1 And he entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand. (KJV)
And he entered again into the synagogue . . . this may have been in Capernaum, where He had cast out the unclean spirit; but not on the same day, nor on that day He had had the argument with the Pharisees, about His disciples plucking the ears of corn on the Sabbath day; but on another Sabbath (Lk.6:6).
And there was a man there which had a withered hand . . . this man came there, for a cure knowing Christ would be in the synagogue, or to worship God (Mat.12:10).
Mark 3:2 And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him. (KJV)
And they watched him . . . especially the Scribes and Pharisees, who watched Him wherever He went (Lk.14:1).
Whether he would heal him on the sabbath day . . . they knew His willingness to do good, and expected that He would.
That they might accuse him . . . as they had accused His disciples before (Lk.6:1-2), of the violation of the Sabbath. According to Matthew, they put a question to Him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath day?” (Mat.12:10). They wanted to have something to accuse Him of, either to the people, or to the Sanhedrim.
Mark 3:3 And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand, Stand forth. (KJV)
And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand, Stand forth . . . both Mark and Luke state that before answering their question, Jesus said to the man, "Stand forth," causing him to stand up in front of all the people. This would make much more striking what He then proceeded to say and do. Stand forth . . . or, as in Luke, "rise up and stand forth in the midst" (Lk.6:8). He told the man to stand up, to get the attention of the people, so that it might be clear to all there, that the man's hand was really withered; and that there was no deception in the cure that would take place.
Mark 3:4 And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace. (KJV)
And he saith unto them . . . to all the assembly in the synagogue; and to the Scribes and Pharisees, who were watching Him, and had put a question to Him. Jesus answers their question, by a question to them.
Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil, to save life, or to kill? . . . to save life, or to destroy it (Lk.6:9). To heal this man would be to do good; it would be to save life. To pass him by, when Jesus had the power to heal him . . . would be to do evil; it would be to kill . . . where Jesus might make him alive. Jesus must do one or the other, and He asks them to say which one. They refused to answer, because the only answer they could give would condemn themselves. Matthew adds an additional argument which comes in at this time. Matthew 12:11-12 And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out? 12 How much then is a man better than a sheep? (KJV) . . . Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.
To neither of these questions did the scribes and Pharisees give an answer.
But they held their peace . . . kept their mouths shut, for they were not able to give an answer. This had to be
in Jesus’ favor, and to their confusion, so they chose to say nothing.
Mark 3:5 And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other. (KJV)
And when he had looked round about on them with anger . . . with a stern expression; with indignation at their hypocrisy and hardness of heart. The anger of the Lord Jesus here was NOT a spiteful or revengeful passion. His anger was caused by excessive grief at their condition. It was NOT a sudden and unrestrained hatred of the men whose hearts were so hard. It was instead, a hatred of the sin which they exhibited, joined with extreme grief, because neither His teaching, nor the law of God, could overcome their confirmed wickedness. That kind of anger is NOT unlawful. We too can be angry in that respect. Anger, when rightly directed and controlled, is NOT a sin . . . BUT . . . anger is a very dangerous because it can end in sinful speech or action. Eph.4:26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: (KJV) . . . I think this Passage teaches us that anger is not lawful, except when it is tempered with grief or compassion for those who have offended.
Being grieved for the hardness of their hearts . . . the heart is symbolically the seat of feeling or affection, and is said to be tender when it is easily touched by the sufferings of others, by our own sin, by danger, and by the love and commands of God. The heart is soft and tender when it is easily made to feel on the subjects pertaining to our interest (Eze.11:19-20). The heart is hard when nothing moves it; when a man is insensible and unaware of the sufferings of others, the dangers of his own condition, and the commands, the love, and the warnings of God (Eze.11:21; Eph.4:18). A person can change that cold, hard heart for a warm, soft and tender one IF they so desire. Just believe God (1 Jn.5:10-13), and accept His only begotten Son to save you (Jn.3:16). God will give you a new heart (Eze.36:26). A new heart: (Deut.30:6; Ps.51:10; Eze.11:19; 36:26; Jer.32:39. Jn.3:3-5; 2 Cor.3:18).
He saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand . . . when the man did as told, his hand was completely restored, because great power accompanied Jesus’ words, and immediately effected a cure.
And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored whole as the other . . . the last clause, "whole as the other" is also in Mat.12:13).
The Lord Jesus broke through all of this red tape of their traditions, and got to the heart of God's purpose in giving the Sabbath Day to Israel originally. They would not answer Him because they knew they would incriminate themselves. My friend, Jesus could get angry . . . then and now! Please do not anger Him. He always has that awful grief deep in His Heart, because of the hardness of their hearts . . . and ours! BEWARE!!
Jesus heals the man. It was the Sabbath; but because the Sabbath is made for man and because He is the Lord of the Sabbath, Jesus healed the man on the Sabbath. The incident in the last part of chapter 2 and this incident must be considered together. These two incidents brought about the break with the religious rulers.
Mark 3:6 And the Pharisees went forth, and straightway took counsel with the Herodians against him, how they might destroy him. (KJV)
And the Pharisees went forth . . . out of the synagogue, being infuriated with the perception of Christ, and the silence and confusion they were put to, and with the miracle He did, to expose them, and establish His own glory.
And straightway took counsel with the Herodians against him . . . several political groups existed at this time, of which one of these was the Herodians. This group supported the Roman leader, King Herod Antipas, who reigned from 4 BC to AD 39. The Herodians were known for their desire to submit to Herod and his rule in return for political favor and peace. They were not like the Pharisees and others who wanted Israel to follow the teachings of the Torah, apart from the influence of the Romans. The Herodians were willing to work with this outside government in more realistic ways. The Herodians were the opposite extreme of the Zealots, who believed God alone should lead Israel and resorted to activism and military opposition to end Roman control.
Here the Herodians and the Pharisees unite, on their common hatred of Jesus. It seems immediately after Jesus heals a man on the Sabbath, that the Pharisees went out and immediately held counsel with the Herodians, to destroy Jesus. Other mentions of the Herodians (Mk.8:15; 12:13; Mat.22:16).
In today’s world, there is still the temptation to choose what is socially acceptable or personally beneficial over God's ways. And there are those who will even try to harm others who might cause problems to their personal achievements . . . just as the Herodians did with Jesus. My dear friend, I think it is God's desire for ALL to be saved through faith in Christ (Jn.3:16), and for His followers to serve others as an example of His love (Mk.10:45).
How they might destroy him . . . these groups persisted in their evil intentions, even though Christ had so fully and clearly exposed the wickedness of them . . . and possibly because of it. They wanted to take the best and most certain measures and methods, to destroy the life of an innocent Person. http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/7605-herodians
Many Healed By Sea Of Galilee (3:7-10)
The Great Multitudes
Mark 3:7 But Jesus withdrew himself with his disciples to the sea: and a great multitude from Galilee followed him, and from Judaea, (KJV)
But Jesus withdrew himself with his disciples to the sea . . . the Lord Jesus knew their evil plans against Him. He left the synagogue, and city of Capernaum; taking His disciples with Him, He went to the shore of the sea of Galilee; not out of fear, but because His time was not yet come, and He had more work to do.
And a great multitude from Galilee followed him, and from Judea . . . the multitude was from several parts of the country where He now was, that part of the land of Israel, which belonged to the tribe of Judah.
Mark 3:8 And from Jerusalem, and from Idumaea, and from beyond Jordan; and they about Tyre and Sidon, a great multitude, when they had heard what great things he did, came unto him. (KJV)
And from Jerusalem . . . the main city of the country of Judea;
And from Idumea, and from beyond Jordan. . . or Edom, this country lies west of the Jordan River and was occupied by the Edomites (Gen.36).
And they about Tyre and Sidon . . . either the inhabitants of these places, or those that lived near the borders, and in the confines of these cities of Phoenicia.
A great multitude . . . when all these people met together, from all these different parts, it was a great multitude, wanting to see Him.
When they had heard what great things he did, came unto him . . . for His fame spread through all the countries, because of the miracles He did. ; which drew this vast concourse of people after Him; and who, inquiring where He was, came to Him at the sea of Galilee.
Mark 3:9 And he spake to his disciples, that a small ship should wait on him because of the multitude, lest they should throng him. (KJV)
And he spake unto his disciples . . . in an authoritative way, He ordered and commanded them,
That a small ship should wait on him . . . that a boat should be gotten ready, be near at hand, and attend Him, who was on shore; that He might go into it, and from there preach to the people . . .
Because of the multitude . . . which came from the above parts of the country, and all together made a very numerous body of people:
Lest they should throng him . . . the crowd pressed and made Him uneasy, that He was not able to stand comfortably, and preach to them. Having a small boat near the shore, He could go into it, and free Himself from this inconvenience.
This was probably a small boat that belonged to His disciples, in which He could sit, off from the shore, and teach the people, without being pressed by them, for they surged upon Him in great numbers. He had healed many; and those who were still diseased crowded on Him, so as to endanger His life. He therefore withdrew from the multitude, and sought a situation where He might be free from danger.
Mark 3:10 For he had healed many; insomuch that they pressed upon him for to touch him, as many as had plagues. (KJV)
For he had healed many . . . of many different diseases, and the fame of this brought still many more to Him:
Insomuch that they pressed upon him . . . pushed and surged upon Him, with great eagerness and violence. One version renders it, "they rushed upon Him, so that they fell" . . . they pushed and pressed so hard to get to Him, that they fell on each another, and on Jesus. Another version reads, "they cast themselves on Him, for the sake of touching Him"; which must have been very difficult indeed. There are some who think the phrase means nothing more, than that they fell down before Him at His feet, in a submissive way, begging they might have the favor of healing.
For to touch him . . . any part of His body, or His clothes, even the hem of them. They just wanted to touch Him or His clothes (Mk.6:56).
As many as had plagues . . . of leprosy, and other diseases, which were inflicted on them by God, as scourges and chastisements for their sins. Some versions join this with the beginning of the verse 11. The word plague, in today’s world is confined to epidemic pestilence, and does not state the meaning of the original, and tends to mislead. Plagues in this verse means as many as had diseases, or disorders of body or mind. Healed many: (Mat.12:15; 14:14).
The main reason for acquiring the boat, was that the people were much too eager to wait for His help or to wait for one another, the diseased would press upon Him, and against each other, in the struggle to touch Him and be healed. Much unsanctified noise and strife were prevented by the use of the "little ship."
Unclean Spirits By Sea Of Galilee (Mark 3:11-12)
Mark 3:11 And unclean spirits, when they saw him, fell down before him, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of God. (KJV)
And unclean spirits, when they saw him . . . here again the evil spirits are called "unclean" (Mk.1:23). Some versions read: "they who had unclean spirits" or "they that were possessed with unclean spirits"; as soon as they saw Christ Jesus, even though they had never seen Him before, and He was a complete Stranger to them, yet they . . .
Fell down before him . . . they fall down before Jesus, acknowledging His divinity, even though they had never seen Him before. I simply cannot image Christ Jesus’ almighty majesty, these unclean spirits having never seen Jesus before, yet they KNOW He is God, and they fall at His Feet! They were forced to evacuate, to leave the bodies which they had taken possession of and had greatly troubled.
And cried, saying, Thou art the Son of God . . . they cried with a loud voice that He was the Son of God, but they are rebuked for making Him known; and they are permanently expelled from their victims. My friend, Jesus IS a divine Person, He IS equal with God the Father (Jn.10:30), He IS Almighty God! And He had power over them, and He could heal ALL kinds of incurable diseases, by a word or touch. Jesus IS God!
Mark 3:12 And he straitly charged them that they should not make him known. (KJV)
And he straitly charged them . . . or strongly rebuked them, or threatened them . . . both the devils that confessed Him, and the many that were healed of their diseases. He gave them a strict and harsh charge,
That they should not make him known . . . or His miracles; He did NOT want vain glory and popular praise, nor did He need the testimony of men or devils . . . and especially the devils, in case His enemies should criticize Him, as being familiar with them. See: (Mk.1:25;34,44).
Call Of Disciples (Mark 3:13-21)
The Twelve Chosen
We now see the sovereign and supreme purpose of God in choosing and ordaining the twelve apostles.
Mark 3:13 And he goeth up into a mountain, and calleth unto him whom he would: and they came unto him. (KJV)
And he goeth up into a mountain . . . near Capernaum, a lonely, solitary place to rest and "to pray", as Luke says (Lk.6:12), who adds, "and continued all night in prayer to God", considering the great fatigue of the day past. His prayer, was very possibly, mainly concerning the great and important work, which was on His mind, and what He was about to do; the making and instituting twelve of His disciples, as His apostles, to preach in His Name, and work miracles like He did.
And calleth unto him whom he would . . . "when it was day", as Luke says. He called His disciples, those who had been followers of Him for some time, as many of them as He thought suitable. It seems that others were called to Jesus besides the twelve; and out of them, He chose the twelve . . . the phrase "whom He would", and it is a common observation of expositors, that the choice and call of the apostles to office, were NOT according to their will, works and merits, but according to the sovereign will and grace of Christ, Who chose them, and not they Him.
And they came unto him . . . as many as he called out of the multitude; and from among these He made the following choice.
Mark 3:14 And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach, (KJV)
And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach . . . "ordain" here is not like any of the ceremonies of a modern, or even of an ancient ordination. Appoint would be a better word, appoint means to make (Acts 2:36; Heb.3:2; Rev.1:6). Jesus simply "appointed twelve, that they should be with Him, and that He might send them forth to preach." They were to be with Him except when He would send them forth, and when sent forth, the work which they were to do is: "preach," "heal sicknesses," "and cast out demons." (Mat.10:1; Lk.9:1).
Mark 3:15 And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils: (KJV)
And to have power to heal sicknesses . . . Jesus gave the apostles the power to heal all kinds of physical diseases that come upon men and women:
And to cast out devils . . . from all who were possessed with them. These chosen and appointed ones were sent out.
Mark 3:16 And Simon he surnamed Peter; (KJV)
And Simon he surnamed Peter. . . or Cephas, which means a rock, or stone, because of his courage and faithfulness, his strength and determination, steadiness and firmness of mind. This name was given to him, not at the time of his mission as an apostle; nor when he made that noble confession of his faith in Christ, as the Son of the living God, at which time this name was taken notice of; but when Christ first called him to be His disciple and apostle (Jn.1:42).
Mark 3:17 And James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James; and he surnamed them Boanerges, which is, The sons of thunder: (KJV)
And James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James . . . these are mentioned next, as being first called after Peter and Andrew.
And he surnamed them Boanerges, which is, the sons of thunder . . . either because of their loud, booming voice; or their warm zeal for Christ, and fervency in their ministry: or for their courage in opposing the enemies of Christ, and the power that went along with their words; which either put people to confusion and silence, or brought about conviction and conversion.
Mark 3:18 And Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Canaanite, (KJV)
And Andrew. . . the brother of Peter;
And Philip . . . who was from Bethsaida;
And Bartholomew . . . whom some think is the same with Nathaniel: the name may be the same with "Bar Talmion", with the Jews (Mat.10:3; Jn.1:41).
And Matthew. . . the publican, who was called Levi;
And Thomas . . . who was called Didymus, because he was a twin;
And James, the son of Alphaeus . . . to distinguish him from the other James, the son of Zebedee, and who is sometimes called "the less";
And Thaddaeus . . . whose name was also Lebbaeus, and likewise Jude, the author of the Epistle that bears that name; Matthew calls this apostle, "Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus" (Mat.10:3); Mark calls him by his surname alone; while Luke uses neither of these names, but calls him "Judas the brother of James" (Lk.6:16; Acts 1:13); and John calls him "Judas, not Iscariot" (Jn.14:22). This man could have been known in earlier times as Lebbaeus, surnamed Thaddaeus; but later, he came to be known by the name Judas.
And Simon the Canaanite . . . or Zelotes. It seems that each of these men had several names.
Mark 3:19 And Judas Iscariot, which also betrayed him: and they went into an house. (KJV)
And Judas Iscariot . . . so called to distinguish him from the other Judas; and is mentioned last for the following reason:
Which also betrayed him . . . which this deed of his will forever reduce his name to mud among men. But . . . this man was chosen along with the with the rest, by our Lord, to be an apostle of His, even though He knew Judas would betray Him; in order to fulfil the purposes of God, fulfill the prophecies of the Old Testament, and bring on the work of man's redemption He came into the world to perform.
And they went into an house . . . at Capernaum, the house of Simon and Andrew, where Jesus often stayed when there. The twelve had gone home with Jesus from the mountain; and from that time became His helpers, His servants, and were looked upon by Him as His family, and were admitted into the greatest nearness and intimacy with Him. Being a servant of the Lord is a wonderful blessing, to say the least.
Mark 3:20 And the multitude cometh together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread. (KJV)
And the multitude coming together again . . . a great multitude had again followed Him, so that there was no room around the door of this house; nor any coming near it (Mk.2:2). This multitude that came from different parts, and had crowded around Him at the sea side, before He went up into the mountain. They understood that when He came down from the mountain, that He would return to Capernaum, and that would be at Simon's house, so they clustered there in great numbers, to see Him in Person, hear His doctrines, and observe and possibly be one of those He healed with His miracles.
So that they could not so much as eat bread . . . so great was the begging and persistence of the afflicted, and the eagerness of all in the crowd to come near to the Lord Jesus, that He and His disciples could not even sit down and eat a meal.
Mark 3:21 And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself. (KJV)
When his friends heard of it . . . not His disciples and followers that believed in Him; but His mother and His brothers, as seems from verses 31-32. Heard of it . . . of His preaching; His appointing the apostles; and His drawing such a multitude to His preaching. This shows us that "His friends" here, did not mean the apostles, but those at a distance who heard of His conduct.
They went out to lay hold on him . . . to take Him away from the multitude, for they were afraid that He might be treated as a maniac, and, by removing Him from the cause of excitement, He might be restored to His right mind. They wanted to take Him somewhere where He might have refreshment and rest, without being troubled by the crowd. This was done in kindness to Him, and had no plan for any violent action to Him, in order to take Him home with them, and to confine Him as a madman; as the next words seem to incline to such a sense.
For they said, He is beside himself . . . He is delirious, or deranged. The reason why this report started was most likely that our Lord had lived among them as a carpenter; He was poor and unknown; and at thirty years of age, He left His occupation, abandoned His employment, spent much time in the deserts, denied Himself the comforts of life, and set up His claims to be the Messiah. This was NOT what was expected by the people as looking for the Messiah! The people were expecting the Messiah to come with great pomp and splendor. The charge of derangement on account of attention to religion has not been confined to our Saviour, to come as King . . . NOT as a pauper!
My friend, there are those today who bring a damnable heresy that Jesus was rich. Do NOT believe this hogwash! Luke 9:58 And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. (KJV) 2 Cor. 8:9 For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich. (KJV)
One more thought on this subject of being beside Himself: any time that anyone is made to deeply sense their sins, and spend much of their time in prayer, and have no desire for the ordinary amusements of life; or IF a Christian is greatly impressed with his duty and obligation to devote them self to God, and act and say that they believed there was an eternity, and warn his neighbors of their danger; or IF a godly pastor or teacher of God’s Holy Word shows special passion for Jesus . . . the world is very quick to call us deranged and tell us that we waste our time and energy in serving an invisible God that we call our Master. I know this for a fact! My family thinks I am deranged, crazy! Jesus’ brothers did not yet believe in Him (Jn.7:5). It is possible that Jesus’ enemies started the ‘crazy’ report, and His family was persuaded to believe it to be true. Beside himself: (Hos.9:7; Jn.10:20).
Scribes Charge That He Casts Out Demons By Beelzebub (Mark 3:22-30)
Mark 3:22 And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth he out devils. (KJV)
And the Scribes which came down from Jerusalem . . . but the Scribes who had a hatred for Christ Jesus, had a different opinion of Him. Having heard much of the doctrine and miracles of Christ, they came down from Jerusalem, which was in the upper part of the land of Israel, into Galilee, a low country, to make their opinion of Him. They would take every possible advantage they could against Him, for they were educated in the Law and the Prophets, and they were very devious and shrewd.
Said, he hath Beelzebub . . . or Beelzebub (the devil) is in Him. Sometimes they said that Jesus cast out devils by Beelzebub, and here, that Jesus had Beelzebub, or Beelzebub was in Him, claiming Beelzebub possessed Jesus, assisted Him in His miracles, and there was a union and acquaintance between them.
And by the prince of devils casteth he out devils . . . for so they believed Beelzebub to be (Mat.10:25; 12:24).
Mark 3:23 And he called them unto him, and said unto them in parables, How can Satan cast out Satan? (KJV)
And he called them unto him . . . the Jerusalem Scribes, to come closer to Him, and listen to what He had to say in defense of His character and miracles.
And said unto them in parables . . . likenesses, and proverbial expressions, as the following seem to be,
How can Satan cast out Satan? . . . how can one devil cast out another devil? See: Matthew 12:25-32.
Mark 3:24 And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. (KJV)
And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand . . . any kingdom, including the kingdom of "Satan", that has internal brawls and divisions will, soon be brought to desolation (Mat.12:25).
Mark 3:25 And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand. (KJV)
And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand . . . any family, small or great, that has disputes and discords will soon be brought to a very distraught and troubled one (Mat.12:25).
Mark 3:26 And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end. (KJV)
And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end . . . if devils are cast out by Beelzebub, the prince of devils . . . one devil against another, as the Scribes misrepresentation supposes; his kingdom will not stand very long, but will soon come to an end; with his power and authority soon destroyed. (Mat.12:26).
Mark 3:27 No man can enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house. (KJV)
No man can enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house . . . this is rightly a parable; the other seem to be proverbs, or likenesses, that were commonly used to show the cruel consequences of discords, factions, and divisions, as is explained Matthew 12:29. Although God does permit Satan to work in our world, God is still in control, and always will be. And because He is God, Jesus has TOTAL power over Satan and is able to drive out demons, thereby ending their terrible work in people's lives. One day Satan will be bound forever (Revelation 20:10).
BEWARE!! The harder you work for Jesus in your Christian life, the worse the attacks of the enemy will be. Stand firm for the Truth, my friend, when those attacks come, for Jesus will walk with you through them.
Mark 3:28 Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme: (KJV)
Verily I say unto you . . . Jesus is still speaking to the Scribes and Pharisees, who had not only blasphemed Him, but also the Spirit of God.
All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme . . .
blasphemy of God, or the Son of God, angels and men, shall be forgiven (1 Jn.1:8-9), and that through the Blood of Christ (1 Pet.1:18-19), and when brought to a sense of the evil of them; pardon is procured (Mat.12:31).
Mark 3:29 But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation: (KJV)
But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness . . . to blaspheme against the Holy Spirit is to give credit to the works performed by Jesus, to diabolical power and influence of Beelzebub (Satan), as the Scribes did. There is NO pardon provided in the covenant of grace (Rom.6:14-15), neither can it be obtained by the Blood of Christ for such persons (1 Pet.1:18-19; Eph.1:7; Col.1:14), or ever applied to them by the Spirit (Rom.8:1-27).
But is in danger of eternal damnation . . . is guilty of an eternal sin; a sin which can NEVER be blotted out, and will NEVER be forgiven, but shall be punished with everlasting destruction (Mat.12:32). Christians often wonder if they have committed this sin of blaspheming the Holy Spirit. No Christian need worry because this sin is attributing to the devil the work of the Holy Spirit. This sin reveals a heart arrogant, bold and defiant with unbelief and unrepentance. Blaspheming the Holy Spirit is the deliberate, ongoing rejection of the work of the Holy Spirit, and is blasphemy because it is rejects Almighty God Himself.
No TRUE born again believer can commit the sin of blaspheming the Holy Spirit. . . because the Holy Spirit resides in all TRUE believers. Romans 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. (KJV) 1 John 4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. (KJV)
It is impossible to commit that unpardonable sin today, because Jesus is no longer on Earth in Person. Christ died for all sin, not just some sin. He did not die for every sin except the unpardonable sin. There is no such thing as being able to commit a sin today that He will not forgive. The arrogant boldness of the unbeliever’s heart is unpardonable . . . NOT the act. When a person blasphemes with his mouth, that is not what condemns him; it is the attitude of his heart, which is a permanent condition . . . unless he stops resisting. THIS is the sin against the Holy Spirit today . . . rebelling and resisting the convicting work of the Holy Spirit in the person’s heart and life.
John 16:8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: (KJV) . . . The Holy Spirit was sent into the world starting at Pentecost (Acts 2). The Holy Spirit IS God, the third Member of the Trinity (Mat.28:19; Jn.14:26; 15:26; 2 Cor.13:14; 1 Pet.1:2; 1 Jn.5:7), and He has ALWAYS been in the world, but when Jesus ascended to Heaven, He and the Father sent Holy Spirit (Jn.14:26) to teach us the Truth about Jesus.
Besides teaching us about Jesus, a very important part of His work is convicting the hearts of unbelievers. IF a person does not quench the Holy Spirit, He brings misery to our hearts, in that we realize that we are sinners.
Psalm 51:3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. (KJV)
Psalm 73:21 Thus my heart was grieved, and I was pricked in my reins. (KJV)
John 16:8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: (KJV)
The Holy Spirit also stings our conscience.
Acts 2:37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? (KJV)
Acts 16:29 Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, (KJV)
A person CAN indeed commit a sin today that shall be punished with everlasting destruction. . . and that happens when a person rebels and restricts the work of the Holy Spirit; NOT believing what He is trying to tell them about the eternal salvation that is available ONLY through Christ Jesus (Jn.14:6; Acts 4:12).
Isaiah 63:10 But they rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and he fought against them. (KJV) . . . Do you see what this states? “He was turned to be their enemy” . . . IF and or when a person provokes (vexes) the Holy Spirit, He becomes your enemy! Do you want Almighty God as your Enemy? Surely you do NOT! Please do NOT grieve Him, provoke Him, quench Him or vex Him! The result of grieving the Holy Spirit will be eternal . . . unless you have a change of heart! BEWARE!!!
Ephesians 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. (KJV)
1 Thes. 5:19 Quench not the Spirit. (KJV)
IF the Holy Spirit brings a person under conviction of their sin, and they humbly come to God in repentance, God WILL forgive them. IF you believe God (1 Jn.5:10-13), and trust and accept God’s only begotten Son (Jn.3:16) to give you eternal salvation (Heb.5:9), you are a TRUE believer and a child of God (Rom.8:17; Gal.3:26; Eph.5:1; 1 Jn.3:10; 5:2).
Mark 3:30 Because they said, He hath an unclean spirit. (KJV)
Because they, said, he hath an, unclean spirit . . . they accused Christ of having a devil, and that His miracles were done with the help of the devil, so they were guilty of the sin of blaspheming the Holy Spirit, or the unpardonable sin, for which there is NO remission. Because they were guilty, they were liable to everlasting punishment.
For more on the Unpardonable sin, see end of chapter.
A NEW Relationship (Mark 3:31-35)
We Are His Brothers and His Mother
Mark 3:31 There came then his brethren and his mother, and, standing without, sent unto him, calling him. (KJV)
There came then his brethren and his mother, and, standing without, sent unto him, calling him . . . Jesus' earthly family did not yet fully understand His ministry, as seems to be in verse 21. Jesus explains here that in our spiritual family, the relationships are more important and longer lasting than those in our physical families (Mat.12:46-50; Lk.8:19).
The “brethren” of Jesus were the sons of Mary and the half-brothers of Jesus. The half-brothers of Jesus, James and Jude, both wrote Epistles, and they never mention that Jesus was their half-brother. My friend, anyone who is in Christ Jesus is closer to Him than His physical mother, and His physical brothers.
The most important thing a person can do in this brief life we have on Earth, is to be related to Almighty God in Christ Jesus by having received Him as Saviour. This and this alone gives us the right of being the sons of God (Jn.1:12-13; 3:3-8). That is what brings us ever so close to Him, my friend.
Jesus' mother was Mary (Lk.1:30-31), and His brothers were the other children Mary and Joseph had after Jesus was born (Mk.6:3; Mat.13:55-56). Some say that when Joseph married Mary, he was a widower, and these were his children by his first marriage. I have to disagree with that. I really do think the “brethren” were Jesus half-brothers, because of the Passages below.
Matthew 1:25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS. (KJV)
Luke 2:7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. (KJV)
Jesus’ brothers: (Mat.12:46-47; 13:55-56; Jn.2:12; Acts 1:14; Gal.1:19; Mat.1:25; Lk.2:7).
Mark 3:32 And the multitude sat about him, and they said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee. (KJV)
And the multitude sat about him . . . He was still in the house (verses 19, 31). The people were seated around Him so closely that no one could pass through. The house was packed with the quiet throng. Perhaps someone, near the door, saw His family and made it known to all that they were there.
And they said unto him, behold, thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee . . . whether this message was brought at the request of the mother and brethren of Christ, and delivered in a humble manner, and with an honest intention; or whether it was done in a bossy way, wanting to interrupt Him, and try Him to see whether He would prefer His natural relations, and their company, to the spiritual work in which He was engaged, in doing good to the souls of men, is not certain. The latter cannot be ruled out, from the next words, and conduct of Christ.
In some ancient versions is added: “And thy sisters.” The Bible does make mention of sisters (Mat.13:56; Mk.6:3), as well as Jesus’ mother and brothers. The people may have expected Him to go, and they may have thought that it was His duty to go.
Mark 3:33 And he answered them, saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren? (KJV)
And he answered them . . . the multitude that sat around Him, and had told Him that His mother and brethren were outside and wanted to speak to Him.
Saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren? . . . from all that I know about the loving and sinless Jesus, I know that He did NOT say this in contempt and disrespect, but either because He was displeased with the interruption; or else to take the opportunity of expressing the greater value of spiritual families. These words of Jesus: “Who is my mother, or my brethren?” gives NOTHING favorable to the idolatrous ideas, and the worship of the virgin Mary among Catholics.
Mark 3:34 And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! (KJV)
And he looked round about on them which sat about him . . . probably pointing to His disciples and His loyal followers.
And said, Behold my mother and my brethren . . . NOT in a physical sense, but in a spiritual sense. His mother and His brethren, because in regeneration (being born again), He was formed in them. His mother and brethren, because by adoption, His God was their God, and His Father was their Father.
Born again, regeneration: (Jer.32:39; Eze.11:19; 36:26; Jn.1:12-13; 3:3-8; 1 Cor.4:15; 6:11; 2 Cor.3:3; 5:17; Gal.4:29; 6:15; Eph.2:10; Tit.3:5; Jam.1:18; 1 pet.1:3,23; 2 Pet.1:4; 1 Jn.2:29; 3:9; 4:7; 5:1,18).
Adoption, spiritual children of God: (Rom.8:15-17,23; 2 Cor.6:18; Gal.4:5-7; Eph.1:5; 3:6).
Mark 3:35 For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother. (KJV)
For whosoever shall do the will of God . . . the will of God is that we believe in Christ, receive Him as our Saviour and Redeemer, and submit to Him in all His decrees, for He is King of saints. Will of God: (Mat.6:10; 12:50; 26:39,42; Mk.3:35; 14:36; Lk.11:2; 22:42; Jn.4:34; 5:30; 6:38-40; Acts 18:21; Rom.12:2; 15:32; 1 Cor.4:19; 16:7; Heb.6:3).
The same is my brother, and my sister, and my mother . . . any and all (whosoever, Jn.3:16), who do the will of God openly, and are clearly connected to Christ in a spiritual sense are very dear to Him. This shows not only the close relationship and strong affection that Christ has for His people, but that He is not ashamed of them (Heb.2:11). Thus it may be concluded from Jesus’ words in Mark 3:33-35, that He will resent any and every injury that is done to TRUE believers, they being God’s spiritual children, through Christ (Jn.14:6; Acts 4:12), these are the children of God (1 Jn.3:10), and joint heirs with Christ. Romans 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. (KJV)
The Unpardonable Sin?
According to Mark, scribes (experts in the Jewish law) came from Jerusalem to Galilee to check out the work Jesus was doing there, especially His ministry of expelling demons from the lives of those who suffered under their control. This certainly had to be a real and wretched condition. The scribes came to a bizarre conclusion: "He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth he out devils" (Mk.3:22). Beelzebul had once been the name of a Canaanite god, "the lord of the high place," but by this time, the Jews used it to mean the ruler of the Abyss, the abode of demons. Jesus exposed the absurdity of supposing that Satan's power could be overthrown by Satan's aid. Jesus then went on to charge those who had made this ridiculous conclusion with blaspheming against the Holy Spirit. WHY? Because they knowingly attributed the Holy Spirit's power to the devil.
For every kind of sin, for every form of blasphemy or slander, it is implied that forgiveness is available (1 Jn.1:9), IF the sin is repented of. But what if someone were to repent of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit? Is there no forgiveness for the person who repents of this sin?
The answer seems to lie in the nature of this sin. This sin is a heart sin. This sin reveals a heart that is arrogant, bold and defiant with unbelief and unrepentance. Blaspheming the Holy Spirit is the deliberate, ongoing rejection of the work of the Holy Spirit, and is blasphemy because it is rejects Almighty God Himself. Psalm 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. (KJV) . . . Repentance is a MUST! A person must confess sin and repent, turn away from sin, or God will NOT forgive that person.
The person who commits this sin is one who does NOT repent of it, because all those who commit it and persist in it do NOT care that they are sinning. Mark tells why Jesus charged those scribes with blaspheming against the Holy Spirit: it was because they said, He (Jesus) hath an unclean spirit (Mk.3:30).
Jesus proclaimed the kingly rule of God, and when He brought relief to the soul-sick, demon-possessed persons, it was a symbol that the kingly rule of God was present and active in His ministry. Luke 11:20 But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you. (KJV) . . . If anyone thought that the relief which He brought to the bodies and minds of men and women . . . and thought that He was doing this with the help of the prince of the demons, then their eyes were simply tightly closed to the Truth. These had chosen darkness over light, and evil over good. The Light is ALWAYS there for anyone who will accept it, but when some refuse the light, there is NO other place where they can receive illumination (Jn.1:4-5).
What about the apostle Paul? Did he sin against the Holy Spirit when he persecuted Christians and even "tried to make them blaspheme"? (Acts 26:11). It does not seem to be so. 1 Tim.1:13 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. (KJV) . . . He did it "ignorantly in unbelief" and therefore received mercy when he confessed to God. BUT . . . IF when he saw the light on the Damascus road (Acts 9), and heard the call of the risen Lord Jesus, and he then closed his eyes and ears and kept on in his persecuting course, THAT would have been the "unpardonable sin."
Peter, through fear, denied the Son of Man, but he found forgiveness and restoration. His lips had briefly turned traitor but I do not think that his heart ever apostatized. When he repented, it left him wide open to the Spirit's healing grace, and when he was restored, he was able to strengthen others (Lk.22:31-32).
What about Ananias and Sapphira? When they came with part of the proceeds of the sale of their property, pretending that it was the whole amount, WHY did they consent to the satanic suggestion that they should lie to the Holy Spirit? Act 5:9 Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out. (KJV) . . . According to Peter, they had sinned beyond the point of no return.
The sin against the Holy Spirit involves deliberately shutting one's eyes to the light. It is calling good evil, and evil good. It is irreversible apostasy. Also see: (Heb.6:4-6; 10:26; 1 Jn.5:16-17).
Facts on Jesus’ Claims
There are some facts that have an important bearing on the claims of Jesus.
#1. Jesus had authority to forgive sins. This was proven in the case of the paralytic (Mk.2:1-12). This fact proves Jesus adapted to the highest demands of human salvation. When sins are forgiven, all other blessings follow as a result.
#2. Jesus’ conduct as a man was irreproachable. He was attacked because of the company He kept (Mk.2:13-17); because of His neglect of fasting (Mk.2:18-22); and because of Sabbath-keeping rules (Mk.2:23-28; 3:1-6). In all these matters He justified His conduct, and put His accusers to shame. Since they made no more serious attacks on His conduct, proves that they could not, and that in morals He was irreproachable.
#3. It was demonstrated by His discussion with the Jerusalem scribes, that the power by which He cast out demons, the power by which His other miracles were done, NOT as they alleged, satanic, but were divine.
#4. His answer to the people, because of the call of His mother and His brothers, was in perfect keeping with the character and position which the Bible assigns Him. It is a strange infatuation indeed that has led the Roman Catholic Church to attribute to Jesus, a lesser importance than to His mother.
We MUST Love Jesus more than ANYONE else: (Mat.10:37; 22:37; Lk.14:26; Jn.5:23; 21;15-17; 2 Cor.5:14-15; Phil.3:7-9).
Jesus, the ONLY Way to Heaven: (Jn.14:6; 10:7,9; Acts 4:12; Rom.5:2; Eph.2:18; Heb.7:25; 1 Jn.5:20).
Mary did NOT die on the cross for us.
Mary is NOT the co-redeemer. ONLY Jesus can redeem us!
Mary’s blood CANNOT redeem you! (1 Pet.1:18-19).
Mary is NOT God. To worship her is a sin of idolatry.
Gospel of Mark
ch.1 . . ch.2 . . ch.3 . . ch.4 . . ch.5 . . ch.6 . . ch.7 . . ch.8 . . ch.9. . ch.10. . ch.11 . . ch.12 . .ch.13 . . ch.14 . . ch.15 . . ch.16