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the Week of Proper 11 / Ordinary 16
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Bible Commentaries
Mark 3

Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New TestamentZerr's N.T. Commentary

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Verse 1

1 Withered hand means that something had shut off the circulation from that member and it had pined away for lack of moisture, rendering it useless.

Verse 2

2 The Pharisees were always pretending to be zealous about the law, though they did not keep it themselves. Jesus was performing his good deeds on every day of the week, but they knew they could not object to what he was doing, hence they pretended to be offended because he did some things on the sabbath day. So they had their eyes set upon him with a wicked interest, hoping he would heal this man on that day and thus give them a pretext for accusing him.

Verse 3

3 Jesus knew their thoughts but proceeded to heal the man.

Verse 4

4 Before going further with the case, Jesus anticipated their accusation with a question they were not expecting. He put the matter on the basis of doing good or evil, saving life or destroying it, and asked them which should be done on the sabbath day. They would not answer because either way they answered would have condemned them.

Verse 5

5 Another word in Thayer's definition of the Greek for anger is "indignation," and it means that Jesus was greatly agitated over the hardness of their hearts. However, it did not keep him from performing the good deed for the man. He was told to stretch forth his hand which shows that his arm was not affected. As soon as he stretched forth his hand it was cured without any bodily contact from Jesus that we know of.

Verse 6

6 Having been defeated in their attempts to convict Jesus under the law, the Pharisees decided to try some other plan, which was to get him to say something that would set himself against the government. For the account of how they did this and my comments on it, see at Mat 22:16-21. The Herodians were some Jews who were favorable to Herod's family relations and the Romans.

Verse 7

7 Jesus went to the Sea of Galilee and that drew the crowds after him again, both from the immediate vicinity and Judea.

Verse 8

8 Jerusalem was in Judea, but the writer thought it good to specify some of the important centers of population in that district as well as others. Idumaea was the same as Edom, a country east of the Jordan. Tyre and Sidon were important cities of Phoenicia, a country bordering on the Mediterranean Sea. The fame of Jesus reached into all these places and people came from them to see him.

Verse 9

9. Small ship means a small boat that could take Jesus from the pressure of the crowd, and yet permit him to be seen and heard by the people.

Verse 10

0 This verse explains why the people thronged about Jesus.

Verse 11

1 Unclean spirits is another name for devils that afflicted the people.

Verse 12

2 See Mar 1:34 on why the unclean spirit was forbidden to preach Jesus.

Verse 13

3 Jesus called these men out of the group of disciples following him.

Verse 14

4 This is the appointment of the twelve apostles. They were expected to be with him continuously ex-cept as he would send them out on missions.

Verse 15

5 The word power is from EXOUSIA which means authority primarily, and Jesus bestowed it upon his apostles. In so doing he enabled them to heal sicknesses and cast out devils which would make their authority effective.

Verse 16

9 There are three of the Gospel accounts that give the list of the twelve apostles. The persons are the same but the names not always, since some of them had more than one name. For the sake of space the reader is asked to see the complete treatment of this subject at Mat 10:4. Which also betrayed him was said prospectively as the betrayal of Jesus had not yet taken place.

Verse 20

0 Jesus was kept so busy teaching the people and administering to their afflictions that there was no opportunity for him and his apostles to have their meals.

Verse 21

1 His friends is rendered "those belonging to him" by the "Englishman's Greek New Testament," and that agrees with the marginal reading that says "kinsmen." When they said He is beside himself they meant they thought he was carried away with the intensity of the situation. But Jesus continued his teaching and good work in spite of the apparent protest of his relations.

Verse 22

2 The scribes are explained at Mat 13:52. They would not deny the fact of his casting out devils, but pretended to believe that he got his power for the work from Beelzebub (Satan).

Verse 23

3 The foolishness of their theory was shown by this question. Even a wicked being like Satan would not be working against himself.

Verse 24

5 The same point is made by supporting a kingdom that divided itself into opposing groups, for such a kingdom would soon be overthrown by the internal strife.

Verse 26

6 This is the same as verse 23.

Verse 27

7 The illustration is this. A man must overthrow another in order to plunder his house, and to do that he would have to be stronger than the man of the house. If Satan casts out Satan, then we have the foolish conclusion that Satan is stronger than Satan which is so absurd that no reply was possible.

Verse 28

8 This verse takes in every manner of sin that could be named except the one that will be designated in the next verse.

Verse 29

9 To blaspheme means to speak violent and evil things against another; it implies things said with the intention of insulting or injuring another. To be guilty of such a sin against the Holy Ghost (Spirit) meant to be without a chance of pardon.

Verse 30

0 The sin against the Holy Ghost was charged against these Jews because they said he hath an unclean spirit. This narrows the subject down to one item, thus ruling out all human efforts to imagine something that "surely is the 'unpardonable' sin if ever there was one." For a complete discussion of this subject see Mat 12:24-28, and the comments that are made upon those verses.

Verse 31

1 There came then. Verse 21 tells of the "friends" of Jesus who wanted to take charge of him but were not able to do so. Whether these family relatives were the ones meant in the former verse I cannot say, or perhaps they were anxious to attempt what the other relatives failed to accomplish. At any rate, they came as near as they could and tried to get the attention of Jesus.

Verse 32

2 The multitude tried to help them get his attention by telling him that it was his mother and brethren who wanted to talk to him.

Verse 33

3 The reply of Jesus was not intended as a slight upon his family but a mild rebuke for the crowd. It is as if he had said, "why should my mother and brethren be allowed to alter my work of salvation?"

Verse 34

4 Jesus prepared to point out the persons deserving more attention just then than his family relatives, and called attention to the crowd that had gathered closely about him, to whom he had been preaching the truth.

Verse 35

5 The same person (notice it is in singular number) could not be both sister and brother at the same time. The idea is, then, that doing the will of God is more important than being the fleshly relations of Christ.
Bibliographical Information
Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Mark 3". Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/znt/mark-3.html. 1952.
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