As I continue to write about my findings in my studies of the Gospel of Mark, I move into chapter three. We will again note the immediacy of Mark’s writing, and how his account moves at rapid pace. His whole purpose is to bear witness that Jesus is the Messiah and tell of His mission and His ministry. When Jesus asks if it is lawful to save a life on the Sabbath in Mark 3, we find the religious leaders give no answer. They keep silent because they know their hypocrisy is being exposed. They were opposing that the man with the shriveled hand was being healed on the Sabbath, yet they themselves would not hesitate to rescue their sheep from a ditch on the Sabbath (see Matthew 12:11-12).
Before moving to the next section, I want to note Jesus’ response to their reply. Jesus looked around at them in frustration, being deeply aggravated by the hardening of their hearts. It angered our Lord that these men who held a faulty view of the Sabbath refused to receive correction, stubbornly setting themselves in opposition to Christ and to the truth.
In Mark 3:7-19, we learn a bit about Christian service. Why do you think Jesus sent out His disciples two by two and told them to take no extra provisions? Over the years many have come to believe that it was so the disciples could be strengthened by each other, and that there is safety in numbers. While these aspects are true, there is still a deeper reason, and in order to understand it, you must either be a Jew or put on the thinking cap of one.
Mosaic Law stated that a case was verified by the testimony of at least two witnesses (Deuteronomy 19:15b). Therefore, going out two by two to testify that the Messiah of the Jews had come would give weight and credibility to the disciples’ message, preventing it from being dismissed because of the lack of number of witnesses.
Jesus Meets Every Need
Also, we can witness how the Lord wanted to teach His disciples that they should depend upon Him to meet their needs. They were, after all, being employed by Him. He was responsible and faithful to supply them with every provision they might need. This is a lesson for us, even 2000 years on. Like the Apostles, we, too, must learn to depend upon the Lord to meet our needs.
I want to point out that on this first missionary journey, the apostles were commissioned to go only to the people of Israel. Neither Gentiles nor Samaritans were yet to be given the gospel. Once the Lord ascended, the apostles would be sent into all the world (Matthew 28:19-20). For a spiritual blockade or separation still existed between Jew and Gentile, because God did to want them to mix with the world and become perverted.
One more thing in this section to take note of was how the Apostles went out for no wage. The emphasis here was that salvation is one hundred percent a result of grace. Grace and faith. It cannot be earned or purchased. Free receive, freely give.
Read now Mark 3:19-35.
At the start of this passage we see Jesus is so committed and devoted to His mission. People in droves have gathered to Him and He and His disciples are working so hard to serve and minister that they don’t even stop to eat or rest. This must have been overwhelming. Jesus’ family is present, and witnessing it all. Concerned for His well-being, Upon witnessing this scene, Jesus’ family is concerned for His well-being; they want to remove Him. It seems they also fear He is out of His senses.
What do the Scribes say when they see Jesus casting out demons and what Is Jesus’ response?
When the scribes witness Jesus casting out demons they surmise that He is demon-possessed. Surely it is by the power of the devil, or Beelzebub, the prince of the demons, that Jesus is able to cast out demons.
We all know well the saying that “A kingdom divided can’t stand.” And this is its origin. No master is going to work against himself unless he is a fool. In Jesus’ illustration of the strong man, Satan is the strong man and Jesus is the stronger man who came to destroy his kingdom. Jesus is teaching us that He came to crush the devil and free us from his grasp. We must comprehend that Jesus is the second Adam. The first Adam brought death and separation. He brings life and reconciliation.
The Unpardonable Sin
One final thing to ponder. The unpardonable sin. To blaspheme against the Holy Spirit means to either continually deny His convincing work or to continually resist His convicting work. One function of the Holy Spirit is to reveal the Lordship of Christ. If we resist the Holy Spirit without fail, ultimately, we cut ourselves off from the only Savior and any chance of redemption. So, blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is unforgivable. It’s self-prescribed and self-imposed and brings with it a guilty plea carrying a sentence of condemnation: it is willfully rejecting the Holy Spirit’s appeal that we come to Christ, the only Savior.
I’m engaged in this study of the biblical book of Mark. I’m reminded of so many simple truths. I’m also understanding more and more how Jesus came with such focus and determination. Nothing about humanity escaped Him. Not our make-up, our daily needs, or our deep desires. What other God can boast of such things? Consequently, our deeds and thoughts are exposed in the brilliance of the Lord, too. We cannot hide them nor can we outrun them. I’m setting my mind on the things above and choosing to walk with Jesus with focus and determination in return.
Written by Jori Sams
Jori Sams is a Christian author and freelance writer with nearly 2000 published pieces on the Internet, with over 1500 being published by Yahoo. Her books are published through Writeious Books. When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her following the sun…