Heavenly Father, we come before You in quietness and solitude. We value this time, sitting at Your feet, fellowshipping, drawing nearer to You, abiding, and enjoying Your presence. Speak to us through the gospel of Mark, by the power of the Holy Spirit, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Mark 3: 1-35
VV 1-6, ‘’1 And He entered the synagogue again, and a man was there who had a withered hand. 2 So they watched Him closely, whether He would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse Him. 3 And He said to the man who had the withered hand, ‘’Step forward.” 4 Then He said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they kept silent. 5And when He had looked around at them with anger, being grieved by the hardness of
their hearts, He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored as whole as the other. 6 Then the Pharisees went out and immediately plotted with the Herodians against Him, how theymight destroy Him.’’
Jesus entered the synagogue and saw a man with a withered hand. The Pharisees were waiting for Jesus to heal the man so that they could accuse Him for breaking the oral tradition of the Sabbath. Jesus, by His omniscient knowledge knew what the Jews were thinking. He said, healing and doing good to people on a Sabbath did not violate the Sabbath. Jesus asked the man to stretch out his hand and instantly healed his withered hand. To have a hardened heart is worse than to have a hardened hand. The Pharisees plotted with the Herodians to kill Jesus. The Herodians were Jews who supported Herod in exchange for political favor. The Herodians were opposite to the Zealots, who opposed the Roman occupation. The Pharisees hated the Herodians but their common hatred towards Jesus made themwork together.
VV 7-12, ‘’But Jesus withdrew with His disciples to the sea. And a great multitude from Galilee followed Him, and from Judea 8 and Jerusalem and Idumea and beyond the Jordan; and those from Tyre and Sidon, a great multitude, when they heard howmany things He was doing, came to Him. 9 So He told His disciples that a small boat should be kept ready for Him because of the multitude, lest they should crush Him. 10 For He healed many, so that as many as had afflictions pressed about Him to touch Him. 11 And the unclean spirits, whenever they saw Him, fell down before Him and cried out, saying, “You are the Son of God.” 12 But He sternly warned them that they should not make Him known.’’
Jesus withdrew to the Sea of Galilee. As words about Jesus ’spread far and wide, people from Galilee and the surrounding regions flocked to Him. Jesus instructed the disciples to have a boat on standby in case the crowd became uncontrollable and stampede Him. Sick and demon-possessed people come to Him from every where. The demons knew Jesus’s identity saying, ‘’You are the Son of God’’ but He warned them to keep quiet.
VV 13-19, ‘’And He went up on the mountain and called to Him those He Himself wanted. And they came to Him. 14 Then He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach, 15 and to have power to heal sicknesses and to cast out demons: 16 Simon, to whom He gave the name Peter; 17 James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James, to whom He gave the name Boanerges, that is, “Sons of Thunder”; 18 Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Cananite; 19 and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him. And they went into a house.’’
Jesus appointed 12 disciples. Disciple means learner. Apostles means the sent out ones. After 3 years of discipleship, Jesus would sent them out as apostles to preach, teach, heal and exorcise. The 12 disciples were Simon (Peter), James and John, sons of Zebedee, Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew or Nathaniel, Matthew, Thomas, James, son of Aphaeus, Thaddeus (Judas son of Aphaeus), Simon the Canaanite (Zealot), and Judas Iscariot. This was a mix group of fishermen, tax collectors, Zealots, etc.
VV 20- 27, ‘’Then the multitude came together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread. 21 But when His own people heard about this, they went out to lay hold of Him, for they said, “He is out of His mind.” 22And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, “He has Beelzebub,”and, “By the ruler of the demons He casts out demons.” 23 So He called them to Himself 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 cannot stand. 26And if Satan has risen up against himself, and is divided, he cannot stand, but has an end. 27 No one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. And then he will plunder his house.’’
His half brothers and mother did not believe in Him. They came to take Him home thinking that He was out of His mind. The Jews accused that Jesus was possesed by Beelzebub, which means satan. Jesus confronted the Jews saying, if satan cast out satan’s demons, and fighting against themselves, satan‘s kingdom would collapse. The strong man is satan. The stronger man is Jesus, who can to enter satan’s house, to bind and plunder his house.
VV 28-29, ‘ ’Assuredly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter; 29 but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation”— 30 because they said, “He has an unclean spirit.”
Jesus charged the Pharisees with the unpardonable sin of blaspheming against the Holy Spirit. Having witnessed the power the Holy Spirit through Jesus’ miracles, they accused Jesus as demon-possessed, instead of acknowledging Him as God. This sin is unpardonable, ‘’whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit would receive eternal condemnation’’. Matthew 12:31,“ ‘ every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. ’ ’
VV 31-35, Then His brothers and His mother came, and standing outside they sent to Him, calling Him. 32 And a multitude was sitting around Him; and they said to Him, “Look, Your mother and Your brothers are outside seeking You.” 33 But He answered them, saying, “Who is My mother, or My brothers?” 34 And He looked around in a circle at those who sat about Him, and said, “Here are My mother and My brothers! 35 For whoever does the will of God is My brother and My sister and mother.”
When the people told Jesus that half-brothers and mother were looking for Him, He said, whoever does the will of God is His brothers, sisters and mother. Christians are brothers and sisters in Christ with God as their Father. Jesus’s family members do the will of God. Do you do the will of God?
Heavenly Father, thank You, for giving us a meaning and fulfilment to our lives. Thank You for teaching, convicting, correcting, discipling, and training us in righteousness. Thank You for giving us a spiritual family in the kingdom of God. Thank You for showing us the power of the gospel. We pray that we will enable us to share Jesus with others and to have a relationship with You, in Jesus’ name, Amen.