Adam Clarke Commentary
The man with the withered hand healed, Mark 3:1-5. The Pharisees plot our Lord‘s destruction, Mark 3:6. Christ withdraws, and is followed by a great multitude, Mark 3:7-9. He heals many, and goes to a mountain to pray, Mark 3:10-13. He ordains twelve disciples, and, gives them power to preach and work miracles, Mark 3:14, Mark 3:15. Their names, Mark 3:16-19. The multitudes throng him, and the scribes attribute his miracles to Beelzebub, Mark 3:20-22. He vindicates himself by a parable, Mark 3:23-27. Of the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, Mark 3:28-30. His mother and brethren send for him, Mark 3:31, Mark 3:32. And he takes occasion from this to show, that they who do the will of God are to him as his brother, sister, and mother, Mark 3:33-35.
A man there which had a withered hand - See this explained on Matthew 12:10 (note), etc., and on Luke 6:6, Luke 6:10 (note).
They watched him - Παρετηρουν αυτον , they maliciously watched him. See on Luke 14:1 (note).
To do good - or - evil? to save life, or to kill? - It was a maxim with the Jews, as it should be with all men, that he who neglected to preserve life when it was in his power, was to be reputed a murderer. Every principle of sound justice requires that he should be considered in this light. But, if this be the case, how many murderers are there against whom there is no law but the law of God!
With anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts - These words are not found in any of the other evangelists. For πωρωσει hardness, or rather callousness, the Codex Bezae, and four of the Itala, read νεκρωσει , deadness; the Vulgate and some of the Itala, caecitate, blindness. Join all these together, and they will scarcely express the fullness of this people‘s wretchedness. By a long resistance to the grace and Spirit of God, their hearts had become callous; they were past feeling. By a long opposition to the light of God, they became dark in their understanding, were blinded by the deceitfulness of sin, and thus were past seeing. By a long continuance in the practice of every evil work, they were cut off from all union with God, the fountain of spiritual life; and, becoming dead in trespasses and sins, they were incapable of any resurrection but through a miraculous power of God.
Whole as the other - This is omitted by the best MSS. and versions.
Herodians - For an account of these, see the note on Matthew 16:1; Matthew 22:16.
Galilee - See Matthew 4:13, Matthew 4:15.
Tyre - Sidon, etc. - See Matthew 11:21.
When they had heard what great things he did, came unto him - So, if Christ be persecuted and abandoned by the wicked, there are a multitude of pious souls who earnestly seek and follow him. He who labors for God will always find more than he loses, in the midst of all his contradictions and persecutions.
A small ship - Πλοιαριον . The lytil boot, Old English MS. It was doubtless something of the boat kind, which probably belonged to some of the disciples. Our Lord was at this time teaching by the sea of Galilee. The word ship is utterly improper in many places of our translation, and tends to mislead the people.
They pressed upon him - Rushed upon him, επιπιπτειν - through eagerness to have their spiritual and bodily maladies immediately removed.
Plagues - Rather disorders, μαϚιγας ; properly such disorders as were inflicted by the Lord. The word plague also tends to mislead.
Thou art the Son of God - Two MSS., and the later Syriac, have, Thou art the Christ, the Son of God. One of Stephens‘s MSS. has, Thou art the Holy One of God. A MS. in the library of Leicester has, συ ει ὁ Θεος, υἱος , Thou art God, the Son. This is an uncommon reading, which is not confirmed by any MS. yet discovered.
He ordained twelve - Εποιησε , he made twelve. Here is nothing of what we call ordaining. Christ simply appointed them to be with him; and that he might send them occasionally to preach, etc.
To preach - The Codex Bezae, Saxon, and all the Itala, except one, add το ευαγγελιον , the Gospel.
To have power to heal - and to cast out devils - The business of a minister of Christ is,
1st. To preach the Gospel.
2dly. To be the physician of souls. And,
3dly. To wage war with the devil, and destroy his kingdom.
Simon, etc. - See on Matthew 10:2 (note), etc.
Sons of thunder - A Hebraism for thunderers; probably so named because of their zeal and power in preaching the Gospel.
Into a house - As Christ was now returned to Capernaum, this was probably the house of Peter, mentioned Mark 2:1.
Eat bread - Had no time to take any necessary refreshment.
His friends - Or, relations. On this verse several MSS. differ considerably. I have followed the reading of the Syriac, because I think it the best: οἱ παρ ‘ αυτου signify merely his relatives, his brethren, etc., see Mark 3:31; and the phrase is used by the best writers to signify relatives, companions, and domestics. See Kypke in loc.
They said, He is beside himself - It was the enemies of Christ that raised this report; and his relatives, probably thinking that it was true, went to confine him. Let a Christian but neglect the care of his body for a time, in striving to enter in at the strait gate; let a minister of Christ but impair his health by his pastoral labors; presently “he is distracted;” he has “not the least conduct nor discretion.” But let a man forget his soul, let him destroy his health by debaucheries, let him expose his life through ambition, and he may, notwithstanding, pass for a very prudent and sensible man!
He hath Beelzebub - See on Matthew 12:24-26 (note).
No man, etc. - For an explanation of these verses, and a definition of the sin against the Holy Ghost, see Matthew 12:29-33.
His brethren and his mother - Or rather, his mother and his brethren. This is the arrangement of the best and most ancient MSS.; and this clause, και αἱ αδελφαι σου , and thy sisters, Mark 3:32, should be Added, on the authority of ADEFGMSUV, fifty-five others, some editions, the margin of the later Syriac, Slavonic, Gothic, and all the Itala except four. Griesbach has received this reading into the text.
Calling him - This clause is wanting in one copy of the Itala. The Codex Alexandrinus has ζητουντες αυτον , seeking him.
Who is my mother? - See on Matthew 12:46-50 (note).
Visit Our Sponsors
Search This Commentary
Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary, Vol. 4 Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, and Daniel
Abingdon New Testament Commentary - James - eBook
1 Peter, Hermeneia Commentary Series