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Bible Commentaries

Brown's Commentary on the New Testament

Mark 3

Verses 1-6

  1. Lord of All
    1. It’s all Discipleship
      Mar 3:1-4 And he entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand. 2 And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him. 3 And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand, Stand forth. 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
      1. He entered “again” into the synagogue…this is another Sabbath according to LUKE.
      2. There was a man with a withered hand…is this a coincidence? Is this man accidentally there on the Sabbath when Jesus is there? I doubt it! This is probably a “SET-UP”!
      3. See, the Pharisees were watching Jesus…it was the Sabbath and Jesus had already (twice before) done things that were contrary to the Sabbath in their eyes.
      4. So Jesus used this as a teaching lesson…everything is always “DISCIPLESHIP” in the eyes of the Lord.
      5. He had him stand up and then asked very piercing questions…
        1. “Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill?”
        2. And they wouldn’t answer…they knew that either way, Jesus would prove them wrong at heart.
      6. Jesus was going to teach them something…
    2. Hardness of Heart
      Mar 3:5a And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts,
      1. It begins by saying that Jesus is angry! >>> He has “Righteous Indignation”.
      2. Meaning He knows their heart is wrong and He’s upset about their “UNRIGHTEOUSNESS”.
        1. (But for us…) Eph 4:26-27 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: 27 Neither give place to the devil.
      3. And then we find that He is grieved for the hardness of their hearts…
        1. We must question ourselves:
          1. ​​​​​​​Are our hearts hard and cold?
          2. Are there areas in our hearts that are not loving,
          3. Are we not full of compassion
          4. Are we not willing to show mercy and grace?
        2. This was the condition of the Pharisee’s hearts…they were always looking to condemn, to tear down – looking out for only their OWN INTERESTS and not others.
      4. Eph 4:29-32 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. 30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: 32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.
      5. So, we find that we actually grieve the Holy Spirit if we have the Pharisee’s heart attitude…
      6. Instead…we are to be kind, tenderhearted (not hard hearted), forgiving and edifying and full of grace!
      7. Heb 3:12-15 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. 13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end; 15 While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.
      8. Jas 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
      9. All of this leading to the question: “Do we remember or realize how much “WE HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN”?
      10. Hard hearts, remembering the woman who washed Jesus’ feet with her hair, come from forgetting or not realizing in the first place God’s great love for us and the forgiveness He has SO FREELY EXTENDED.
    3. The Blessing of Obedience
      Mar 3:5b he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other.
      1. ​​​​​​​There is a principle that we must grasp on to here…that when Jesus tells us to do something: We should do it!
      2. Take note…
        1. ​​​​​​​the man with the withered hand could have said “NO”.
        2. He could have said he didn’t believe that Jesus could heal him;
        3. he could have simply walked away…
      3. Had he not allowed Jesus to heal him, he wouldn’t necessarily have sinned – he wouldn’t go to hell for it…but he would have missed the blessing!
      4. If we want the blessings that come through obedience…we have to obey. We can’t walk in rebellion or selfish desires!
      5. Psa 1:1-6 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. 3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. 4 The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. 5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. 6 For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.
      6. Psa 112:1 Praise ye the LORD. Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments.
      7. Luk 11:28 But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.
      8. Joh 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
  2. CONCLUSION
    1. ​​​​​​​Do our lives reflect the love we have for Jesus?
    2. To Whom much is forgiven, loves much –
    3. Jesus has forgiven us and taken our sins and made them as far as the east is to the west from us…
    4. ​​​​​​​Isa 55:6-8 Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: 7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. 8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.

      ​​​​​​​>>> Won’t you come to Him? <<<

Verses 7-12

  1. INTRODUCTION
    READ: Mar 3:1-6 And he entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand. 2 And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him. 3 And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand, Stand forth. 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. 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. 6 And the Pharisees went forth, and straightway took counsel with the Herodians against him, how they might destroy him.
    1. The theme of the Gospel of Mark is seeing Jesus as a servant: (ref. Mar 10:45)…
    2. And we see how Jesus was grieved here in the first section of chap. 3…because of the hardness of the Pharisee’s hearts…
    3. Yet: “The heart of the issue is always the issue of the heart!”
    4. We begin with this section that we looked at last week to keep context with what we will look at today…
  2. The Son of God
    Mar 3:7-12 But Jesus withdrew himself with his disciples to the sea: and a great multitude from Galilee followed him, and from Judaea, 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. 9 And he spake to his disciples, that a small ship should wait on him because of the multitude, lest they should throng him. 10 For he had healed many; insomuch that they pressed upon him for to touch him, as many as had plagues. 11 And unclean spirits, when they saw him, fell down before him, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of God. 12 And he straitly charged them that they should not make him known.
    1. Jesus withdrew himself from the Pharisees and those that had hard hearts…
    2. What we see here, is Jesus being “Thronged” (a crowd that is pressing in to Him) because of all the healing He had done…But how did they know?
    3. Look at v. 8 - the multitude followed Him when they had heard what great things He did!
    4. How did they hear? Someone told them!
    5. How do people hear today? Someone tells them!
    6. We have to be the “someone”…no one else will tell! Who have you told about Jesus recently?

Verses 13-19

  1. Calling the Apostles
    Mar 3:13-19 And he goeth up into a mountain, and calleth unto him whom he would: and they came unto him. 14 And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach, 15 And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils: 16 And Simon he surnamed Peter; 17 And James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James; and he surnamed them Boanerges, which is, The sons of thunder: 18 And Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Canaanite, 19 And Judas Iscariot, which also betrayed him: and they went into an house.

    Report from the Pastor Search Committee:
    We do not have a happy report to give. We have not been able to find a suitable candidate for this church, though we have one promising prospect. Thank you for your suggestions. We have followed up on each one with interviews or by calling at least three references. The following is our confidential report.
    ADAM: Good man but has problems with his wife. One reference told us how he and his wife enjoyed walking nude in the woods.

    NOAH: Former pastorate of 120 years with no converts. Prone to unrealistic building projects.

    JOSEPH: A big thinker, but a braggart; believes in dream interpreting and has a prison record.

    MOSES: A modest and meek man, but poor communicator; even stutters at times. Sometimes blows his stack and acts rashly in business meetings. Some say he left an earlier church over a murder charge.

    DAVID: The most promising leader of all until we discovered the affair he had with his neighbor's wife.

    SOLOMON: Great preacher, but serious woman problem.

    ELIJAH: Prone to depression; collapses under pressure.

    JONAH: Told us he was swallowed up by a great fish. He said the fish later spit him out on the shore near here. We hung up.

    JOHN: Says he is a Baptist, but doesn't dress like one.

    PETER: Too blue collar. Has a bad temper, even said to have cursed. He's a loose cannon.

    PAUL: Powerful CEO type and fascinating preacher. However, he's short on tact, unforgiving with young ministers, harsh, and has been known to preach all night.

    TIMOTHY: Too young.

    JUDAS Iscariot: His references are solid. A steady plodder. Conservative. Good connections. Knows how to handle money. We're inviting him to preach this Sunday in view of a call.
    1. Peter
      1. Peter was always “Ready, fire, aim” in his early years – always putting his foot in his mouth and cutting off ears, yet he became wise and mellow in his old age…exhorting us in 2Peter to grow in grace and the knowledge of Jesus Christ.
    2. James & John
      1. ​​​​​​​These guys were originally NOT ideal candidates for Apostles…they wanted to call down fire from heaven on a town in Samaria to teach them a lesson.
      2. James was martyred in Acts 12…(Act 12:1-2) Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church. 2 And he killed James the brother of John with the sword.
      3. John went on to be the Apostle of LOVE…historians say that John’s message was always, “My little children, love one another” (Which is what he said 6 different times in his epistles).
    3. Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew & Matthew
      1. ​​​​​​​Andrew was a role model for bringing people to Jesus…
      2. Philip was the great evangelist in Samaria that was called to the Etheopian Eunich.
      3. Bartholomew was the one Jesus saw under the tree reading the scripture before He had ever met him.
      4. Matthew was the tax collector we discussed last week.
    4. Thomas, James, Thaddaeus, & Simon
      1. ​​​​​​​Thomas was “Doubting Thomas” who wouldn’t believe the resurrection until he could touch Jesus.
      2. James the son of Alphaeus and Thaddaeus …we don’t know much about.
      3. Simon the Zealot – was a dagger man…part of a zealous sect desiring to overthrow Rome. They would walk through crowds with a dagger and when encountering a Roman soldier they would stab him and disappear into the crowd.
    5. Judas Iscariot
      1. ​​​​​​​Judas was the treasurer for the group…carrying the purse. He betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.
    6. Foolishness to the World
      1. ​​​​​​​In light of this…if you think God couldn’t use you –
      2. 1Co 1:26-29 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: 27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: 29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.
      3. We must remember that God does NOT call the equipped…rather, He equips the called!
      4. Heb 13:20-21 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Verses 20-35

  1. Unpardonable Sin
    1. A House Divided
      Mar 3:20-27 And the multitude cometh together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread. 21 And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself. 22 And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth he out devils. 23 And he called them unto him, and said unto them in parables, How can Satan cast out Satan? 24 And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand. 26 And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end. 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.
      1. The family says He’s beside Himself…the scribes say Satan is working through Him…
      2. And…Jesus asks the question: “Why would Satan cast out Satan?” …that makes no sense!
      3. And then He gives us a universal principle that should hopefully direct our choices in light of what is right and important to us…
        1. ​​​​​​​A kingdom divided can not stand…and a house divided will fall!
    2. Giving Credit to Satan?
      Mar 3:28-30 Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme: 29 But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation: 30 Because they said, He hath an unclean spirit.
      1. ​​​​​​​Contextually…they had Jesus right in front of them and they were attributing His miracles and work to the Devil…
      2. For us…He says all sins shall be forgiven – ALL SINS…
      3. What can’t be forgiven is when a person rejects the calling of the Holy Spirit to Jesus…
        1. ​​​​​​​John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
        2. Joh 3:16-18 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
        3. Joh 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
    3. Doing the Will of God
      Mar 3:31-35 There came then his brethren and his mother, and, standing without, sent unto him, calling him. 32 And the multitude sat about him, and they said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee. 33 And he answered them, saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren? 34 And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! 35 For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.
      1. ​​​​​​​Joh 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
      2. Rom 13:8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
      3. 1Pe 1:22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:
      4. 1Jn 3:11 For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.
      5. How do we get this love? It’s the fruit of the Spirit…how do we get it? Walk in the Spirit and you won’t fulfill the lusts of the flesh.
      6. How do I walk in the Spirit? Abide!
      7. Joh 15:5, 8 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. 8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
      8. ​​​​​​​How do I abide in Christ? >>> Talk to Him, Read His Word, Listen to Him, Fellowship with His children, serve inside & outside of the church; …rest in Him! <<<
Copyright Statement
Brown's Commentary on the New Testament is reproduced by permission of author. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Brown, Jim. "Commentary on Mark 3". "Brown's Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bnc/mark-3.html. 2017.