-The Lord’s Sabbath healings continue with a man who had a withered hand. The Pharisees by now were watching closely to see what He would do in this situation. Jesus called him forward and asked the question, “Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the Sabbath, to save a life or to kill?” Everyone kept silent, which angered the God Man. “Grieved at their hardness of heart” He commanded the man to stretch out his hand, and his hand was restored like new. This led the Pharisees to go out and conspire with the Herodians, a political powerhouse of the day, as to how they might destroy Him (Mark 3:1-6).” They mistakenly thought He was a blasphemer and law breaker because of their own man-made traditions and hard hearts.
-Jesus withdrew to the sea with His disciples, and a great multitude followed Him to see what would transpire next. They came from the Galilee, Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea (to the south of Jerusalem), beyond the Jordan River to the east, and the vicinity of the coastal regions to the north of Tyre and Sidon. A tremendous amount of people got the news and were coming to hear and see what Jesus was doing. Jesus showed great preparation in having His disciples get a boat ready for Him so that He could project His Voice from the water and maintain a teaching distance for His message. He had healed many and knew that the crowds would be pressing in on Him to touch Him. Whenever unclean spirits saw Him, they would fall down before Him and cry out, “You are the Son of God!” However, He earnestly warned them not to divulge His identity to the populace (Mark 3:7-12).
-The events rapidly move to the point when the Christ appointed His twelve disciples. On an unnamed mountain, Jesus summoned who He wanted as His inner circle to train and prepare for His world changing mission. His plan was to send them out to preach as they became ready with His message empowered by His Spirit (Matthew 28-18-20, Mark 16:15, 20). He appointed the twelve so that they could be with Him intimately as He sojourned in His earthly ministry. They would have authority to cast out demons, which was to multiply the ministry of the Kingdom as it was advancing. Simon (Peter), James and John (the sons of Zebedee, the sons of thunder “Boanerges” was their nicknames), Andrew (Peter’s brother), Philip, Bartholomew (Nathaniel), Mattew (Levi), Thomas (the doubting one, the twin), James (son of Alphaeus), Thaddaeus (Judas, son of James), Simon (the Zealot), and Judas Iscariot (the betrayer of Jesus) were called as the disciples of Jesus (Mark 3:13-19).
-Now, the Lord came home and the crowds pressed them to the point that they could not even eat a meal. People started to talk and make comments that He had lost His senses. They even tried to take Him into custody. Scribes who had come down from Jerusalem started claiming that He was possessed by the devil, which gave Him power over the demons that He was casting out of people. Jesus called them to Himself and rationalized the situation in parables, “How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself that kingdom cannot stand. If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. If Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but he is finished! But no one can enter the strong man’s house and plunder his property unless he first binds the strong man, and then he will plunder his house. Truly I say to you, all sins shall be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they utter; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin (Mark 3:20-29).” He was saying this because they accused Him of having an unclean spirit (Mark 3:30). Denial of the Holy Spirit is blasphemy and incurs eternal condemnation from God. The Spirit of Jesus is One and the same as the Holy Spirit. They are in complete unity, and these scribes were denying His supreme authority, an unpardonable sin.
-Then, we get the scene when the Lord’s mother and brothers arrived, but had to stand outside because of the crowds. Being made aware of their presence outside the house, Jesus made a community of Kingdom point. He said, “Who are My mother and My brothers?” Then looking around at those gathered with Him, He continued, “Behold My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of God, he is My brother and sister and mother (Mark 3:31-35).”
-*Application* Have you ever thought of yourself as the brother, sister, or mother of Jesus? We are in complete fellowship and relationship with Him when we have trusted in His loving grace. He, the King, has called us “friends (John 15:15-17).”
Verse to Memorize: Mark 3:35