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Bible Commentaries

The Gospels Compared

Mark 3

Verses 1-6

Jesus heals a man's hand on the Sabbath
Matthew 12:9-14 Mark 3:1-6 Luke 6:6-11
Matthew 12:9 And when he was departed thence, he went into their synagogue: Mark 3:1 And he entered again into the synagogue; Luke 6:6 And it came to pass also on another sabbath, that he entered into the synagogue and taught:
Matthew 12:10 And, behold, there was a man which had [his] hand withered. and there was a man there which had a withered hand. and there was a man whose right hand was withered.
And they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? that they might accuse him. Mark 3:2 And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him. Luke 6:7 And the scribes and Pharisees watched him, whether he would heal on the sabbath day; that they might find an accusation against him.

Mark 3:3 And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand, Stand forth. Luke 6:8 But he knew their thoughts, and said to the man which had the withered hand, Rise up, and stand forth in the midst. And he arose and stood forth.
Matthew 12:11 And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift [it] out? Mark 3:4 And he saith unto them, Luke 6:9 Then said Jesus unto them,
Matthew 12:12 How much then is a man better than a sheep?

Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days. 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. I will ask you one thing; Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save life, or to destroy [it]?
Matthew 12:13 Then saith he to the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched [it] forth; and it was restored whole, like as the other. Mark 3:5 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. Luke 6:10 And looking round about upon them all, he said unto the man, Stretch forth thy hand. And he did so: and his hand was restored whole as the other.
Matthew 12:14 Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him. Mark 3:6 And the Pharisees went forth, and straightway took counsel with the Herodians against him, how they might destroy him. Luke 6:11 And they were filled with madness; and communed one with another what they might do to Jesus.

Verses 7-12

Large crowds follow Jesus
Matthew 12:15-21 Mark 3:7-12
Matthew 12:15 But when Jesus knew [it], he withdrew himself from thence: and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all; Mark 3:7 But Jesus withdrew himself with his disciples to the sea: and a great multitude from Galilee followed him, and from Judaea,
Mark 3:8 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. Mark 3:9 And he spake to his disciples, that a small ship should wait on him because of the multitude, lest they should throng him. Mark 3:10 For he had healed many; insomuch that they pressed upon him for to touch him, as many as had plagues. Mark 3:11 And unclean spirits, when they saw him, fell down before him, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of God.
Matthew 12:16 And charged them that they should not make him known: Mark 3:12 And he straitly charged them that they should not make him known.
Matthew 12:17 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Matthew 12:18 Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles. Matthew 12:19 He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets. Matthew 12:20 A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory. Matthew 12:21 And in his name shall the Gentiles trust.

Verses 13-19

Jesus selects the twelve Disciples
Mark 3:13-19 Luke 6:12-16
Mark 3:13 And he goeth up into a mountain, Luke 6:12 And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.
and calleth [unto him] whom he would: and they came unto him. Luke 6:13 And when it was day, he called [unto him] his disciples:
Mark 3:14 And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach, and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles;
Mark 3:15 And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils:
Mark 3:16 And Simon he surnamed Peter; Mark 3:17 And James the [son] of Zebedee, and John the brother of James; and he surnamed them Boanerges, which is, The sons of thunder: Mark 3:18 And Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Luke 6:14 Simon, (whom he also named Peter,) and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew,


Matthew, and Thomas, and James the [son] of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Canaanite, Luke 6:15 Matthew and Thomas, James the [son] of Alphaeus, and Simon called Zelotes,
Mark 3:19 And Judas Iscariot, which also betrayed him: and they went into an house. Luke 6:16 And Judas [the brother] of James, and Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor.


Lists of disciples compared
Matthew 10:2-4 Mark 3:13-19 Luke 6:12-16 Acts 1:13-14
Simon (Peter) Simon (Peter) Simon (Peter) Peter
James, Son of Zebedee James, Son of Zebedee James James
John, the brother of James John, the brother of James John John
Andrew Andrew Andrew Andrew
Philip Philip Philip Philip
Bartholemew Bartholemew Bartholemew Bartholemew
Matthew Matthew Matthew Matthew
Thomas Thomas Thomas Thomas
James, son of Alphaeus James, son of Alphaeus James, son of Alphaeus James, son of Alphaeus
Thaddaeus Thaddaeus - - - - - - - - - -
Simon the Zealot Simon the Zealot Simon the Zealot Simon the Zealot
Judas Iscariot Judas Iscariot Judas Iscariot
- - - - - - - - - - Judas the son of James Judas the son of James




The difference in content occurs with Thaddaeus and Judas the son of James. The most logical explanation is that both names describe the same person. Judas the son of James would have been sharing the name of Judas Iscariot, the betrayer of Christ. Most probably, he preferred to be called Thaddeus.

Verses 20-30

Religious leaders accuse Jesus of being under Satan's power
Matthew 12:24-37 Mark 3:20-30 Luke 11:15-23
Matthew 12:24 But when the Pharisees heard [it], they said, This [fellow] doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils. Mark 3:22 And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth he out devils. Luke 11:15 But some of them said, He casteth out devils through Beelzebub the chief of the devils.

Mark 3:23 And he called them [unto him], and said unto them in parables, How can Satan cast out Satan? Luke 11:16 And others, tempting [him], sought of him a sign from heaven.
Matthew 12:25 And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; Mark 3:24 And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. Luke 11:17 But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation;
and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: Mark 3:25 And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand. and a house [divided] against a house falleth.
Matthew 12:26 And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand? Mark 3:26 And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end. Luke 11:18 If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? because ye say that I cast out devils through Beelzebub.
Matthew 12:27 And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast [them] out? therefore they shall be your judges.
Luke 11:19 And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your sons cast [them] out? therefore shall they be your judges.
Matthew 12:28 But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.
Luke 11:20 But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you.
Matthew 12:29 Or else how can one enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, Mark 3:27 No man can enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, Luke 11:21 When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace:
except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house. except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house. Luke 11:22 But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils.
Matthew 12:30 He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.
Luke 11:23 He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth.
Matthew 12:31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy [against] the [Holy] Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. Mark 3:28 Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme:
Matthew 12:32 And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him:
but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the [world] to come. Mark 3:29 But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation: Mark 3:30 Because they said, He hath an unclean spirit.
Matthew 12:33 Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by [his] fruit. Matthew 12:34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. Matthew 12:35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. Matthew 12:36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. Matthew 12:37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

Verses 31-35

Jesus describes his true family
Matthew 12:46-50 Mark 3:31-35 Luke 8:19-21
Matthew 12:46 While he yet talked to the people, behold, [his] mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him. Mark 3:31 There came then his brethren and his mother, and, standing without, sent unto him, calling him. Luke 8:19 Then came to him [his] mother and his brethren, and could not come at him for the press.
Matthew 12:47 Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee. Mark 3:32 And the multitude sat about him, and they said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee. Luke 8:20 And it was told him [by certain] which said, Thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to see thee.
Matthew 12:48 But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? Mark 3:33 And he answered them, saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren? Luke 8:21 And he answered and said unto them,
Matthew 12:49 And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! Mark 3:34 And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!
Matthew 12:50 For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother. Mark 3:35 For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother. My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it.
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Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on Mark 3". "The Gospels Compared". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/tgc/mark-3.html. 2014.