Mark 3

Mark 3:2

They were watching Him to see if He would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse Him.

Accuse him. Accusations against you will typically come from three sources: (1) the Accuser, a.k.a. Satan (see entry for Rev. 12:10), (2) law-lovers who are opposed to grace (see entry for Matt. 12:10), and (3) a conscience that is mindful of the law (Rom. 2:15). What these three things have in common is an affinity for using the law as a weapon of condemnation.

Mark 3:11

Whenever the unclean spirits saw Him, they would fall down before Him and shout, “You are the Son of God!”

The Son of God. Various demons recognized that Jesus was the Son of God (Matt. 8:29, Luke 4:41). Others who had this revelation include John the Baptist (John 1:34), Nathanael (John 1:49), Martha (John 11:27), the centurion at the cross (Matt. 27:54, Mark 15:39), and the angel Gabriel (Luke 1:35).

Mark 3:14

And He appointed twelve, so that they would be with Him and that He could send them out to preach,

Preach. The original word (kerusso) means to herald as a public crier. This is one of three words that are commonly translated as “preach” or “preaching” in the New Testament. See entry for Acts 5:42.

Mark 3:16

And He appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom He gave the name Peter),

(a) The twelve were Jesus closest disciples. They were variously known as the twelve disciples and the twelve apostles (Matt. 10:1–2).

(b) Simon was a common Biblical name. Since there were two disciples named Simon, they were distinguished as Simon Peter and Simon the zealot (Mark 3:18). In addition, the New Testament names seven other Simons including Simon the step-brother of Jesus (Matt. 13:55), Simon the leper (Matt. 26:6), Simon of Cyrene (Matt. 27:32), Simon the Pharisee (Luke 7:36–40), Simon, the father of Judas Iscariot (John 13:2), Simon the sorcerer (Acts 8:9), and Simon the tanner (Acts 10:6).

Mark 3:22

The scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and “He casts out the demons by the ruler of the demons.”

(a) The scribes along with the Pharisees accused Jesus of cooperating with the powers of darkness (Matt. 12:24).

(b) Beelzebul, or Baal-zebub, was the Philistine name for the prince of devils (2 Kgs. 1:2–3).

Mark 3:23

And he called them to himself and began speaking to them in parables, “How can Satan cast out Satan?

He called them. Jesus called and some came creating an inside/outside divide. Those “inside” were the believers and true disciples (Mark 3:34–35, 4:10), while those outside were the sceptics and unbelievers (Mark 3:31–32, 4:11, Luke 13:25).

Mark 3:28

“Truly I say to you, all sins shall be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they utter;

(a) Shall be forgiven. Prior to the cross, Jesus preached conditional forgiveness to people living under the old covenant. “If you forgive, God will forgive” (Matt. 6:14, Mark 11:25). However, as the messenger of the new covenant, he also demonstrated and proclaimed unconditional forgiveness (Matt. 9:2, 18:27, Luke 7:42, 47, 23:34). On the night he rose from the dead, he told the disciples to preach the good news of unconditional forgiveness (see entry for Luke 24:47).

(b) Forgiven; see entry for Forgiveness.

Mark 3:29

but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”—

(a) Whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit; see entry for Matt. 12:31.

(b) Never has forgiveness. The one who refuses the gift of forgiveness shall not have it.

(c) Forgiveness. The original word (aphesis) is a noun that is sometimes translated as remission and means a letting go or dismissal (see entry for Luke 24:47).

On the night he rose from the dead, Jesus told the disciples to preach the remission of sins or the good news of unconditional forgiveness (Luke 24:47). Because of his great love, God chooses to remember your sins no more (Heb. 8:12, 10:17), and he is no longer holding your sins and trespasses against you (2 Cor. 5:19). However, if you scorn the ministry of the Holy Spirit, you will never receive the forgiveness that comes by faith. Only in Christ do we have the forgiveness of sins (Eph. 1:7, Col. 1:14).

Mark 3:31

Then His mother and His brothers arrived, and standing outside they sent word to Him and called Him.

(a) His mother. All four Gospel writers refer to Mary as the mother of Jesus (Matt. 1:18, 2:11, 13, 14, 20–21, 12:46, Mark 3:31, Luke 2:33–34, 2:48, 51, 8:19, John 2:1, 3, 5, 12, 19:25–26, Acts 1:14). See also the entry for Mark 3:35.

(b) His brothers or half-brothers were James, Joseph, Simon and Judas (Matt. 13:55). At first, these men did not believe that Jesus was the Son of God (Mark 3:21). But they and their mother Mary were among those praying in the Upper Room after the ascension of Jesus (Acts 1:14). James became the influential leader of the church in Jerusalem (Acts 15:13). It’s possible the other brothers became ministers of the gospel and apostles, but we have no direct evidence for this (1 Cor. 9:5).

Mark 3:32

A crowd was sitting around Him, and they said to Him, “Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are outside looking for You.”

See previous verse.

Mark 3:35

“For whoever does the will of God, he is My brother and sister and mother.”

(a) The will of God is the same as the work of God and the command of God – that you believe in Jesus (John 6:29, 1 John 3:23). “This is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life” (John 6:40). Jesus is the will of God made flesh. When we are joined to the Lord in faith, we have fellowship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (1 John 1:3).

(b) My brother and sister and mother. In the New Testament, believers are often referred to as the family or household of God (Matt. 12:50, John 11:52, 2 Cor. 6:18, Eph. 2:19, Gal. 3:26, 6:10, 1 Pet. 4:17).

(c) My mother. Mary was an extraordinary woman, highly favored by God, and rightly honoured by the Church. Yet nowhere in scripture does Jesus refer to her as mother. Instead, he calls her woman (John 2:4, 19:26). If you asked Jesus who his mother was, he would reply, “My mother and brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it” (Luke 8:21). Jesus was not being disrespectful to Mary, but like Melchizedek, he was “without father and mother” in the usual sense (Heb. 7:3).

See entry for Virgin Birth.

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