Mark 3

Listen to Mark 3

A Man with a Withered Hand

1 1Again 2he entered the synagogue, and a man was there with a withered hand.
2 And 3they watched Jesus,[a] to see whether he would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse him.
3 And he said to the man with the withered hand, "Come here."
4 And he said to them, 4"Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?" But they were silent.
5 And he 5looked around at them with anger, grieved at 6their hardness of heart, and said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." 7He stretched it out, and his hand was restored.
6 8The Pharisees went out and immediately 9held counsel with 10the Herodians against him, how to destroy him.

A Great Crowd Follows Jesus

7 11Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the sea, and 12a great crowd followed, from Galilee and Judea
8 and Jerusalem and 13Idumea and from beyond the Jordan and from around 14Tyre and Sidon. When the great crowd heard all that he was doing, they came to him.
9 And he told his disciples to 15have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, lest they 16crush him,
10 for 17he had healed many, so that all who had 18diseases pressed around him 19to touch him.
11 20And whenever the unclean spirits saw him, they 21fell down before him and cried out, "You are 22the Son of God."
12 And 23he strictly ordered them not to make him known.

The Twelve Apostles

13 24And he went up on the mountain and called to him those 25whom he desired, and they came to him.
14 26And he appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach
15 27and have authority to cast out demons.
16 He appointed the twelve: 28Simon (to whom 29he gave the name Peter);
17 30James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James (to whom he gave the name Boanerges, that is, Sons of Thunder);
18 Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and 31Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Cananaean,
19 and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.
20 Then he went 32home, and the crowd gathered again, 33so that they could not even eat.
21 34And when 35his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for they were saying, "He 36is out of his mind."

Blasphemy Against the Holy Spirit

22 And 37the scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, 38"He is possessed by Beelzebul," and "by the prince of demons he casts out the demons."
23 39And he called them to him and said to them in parables, "How can Satan cast out Satan?
24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.
25 And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.
26 And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but is coming to an end.
27 But 40no one can enter a strong man's house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. 41Then indeed he may plunder his house.
28 42"Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the children of man, and whatever blasphemies they utter,
29 but whoever 43blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin"--
30 for they were saying, "He has an unclean spirit."

Jesus' Mother and Brothers

31 44And his mother and his 45brothers came, and standing outside they sent to him and called him.
32 And a crowd was sitting around him, and they said to him, "Your mother and your brothers[b] are outside, seeking you."
33 And he answered them, "Who are my mother and my brothers?"
34 And 46looking about at those who sat around him, he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers!
35 47For whoever 48does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother."

Mark 3 Commentary

Chapter 3

The withered hand healed. (1-5) The people resort to Christ. (6-12) The apostles called. (13-21) The blasphemy of the scribes. (22-30) Christ's relatives. (31-35)

Verses 1-5 This man's case was piteous; he had a withered hand, which disabled him from working for his living; and those that are so, are the most proper objects of charity. Let those be helped that cannot help themselves. But stubborn infidels, when they can say nothing against the truth, yet will not yield. We hear what is said amiss, and see what is done amiss; but Christ looks at the root of bitterness in the heart, the blindness and hardness of that, and is grieved. Let hard-hearted sinners tremble to think of the anger with which he will look upon them shortly, when the day of his wrath comes. The great healing day now is the sabbath, and the healing place the house of prayer; but the healing power is of Christ. The gospel command is like that recorded here: though our hands are withered, yet, if we will not stretch them out, it is our own fault that we are not healed. But if we are healed, Christ, his power and grace, must have all the glory.

Verses 6-12 All our sicknesses and calamities spring from the anger of God against our sins. Their removal, or the making them blessings to us, was purchased to us by the blood of Christ. But the plagues and diseases of our souls, of our hearts, are chiefly to be dreaded; and He can heal them also by a word. May more and more press to Christ to be healed of these plagues, and to be delivered from the enemies of their souls.

Verses 13-21 Christ calls whom he will; for his grace is his own. He had called the apostles to separate themselves from the crowd, and they came unto him. He now gave them power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils. May the Lord send forth more and more of those who have been with him, and have learned of him to preach his gospel, to be instruments in his blessed work. Those whose hearts are enlarged in the work of God, can easily bear with what is inconvenient to themselves, and will rather lose a meal than an opportunity of doing good. Those who go on with zeal in the work of God, must expect hinderances, both from the hatred of enemies, and mistaken affections of friends, and need to guard against both.

Verses 22-30 It was plain that the doctrine of Christ had a direct tendency to break the devil's power; and it was as plain, that casting of him out of the bodies of people, confirmed that doctrine; therefore Satan could not support such a design. Christ gave an awful warning against speaking such dangerous words. It is true the gospel promises, because Christ has purchased, forgiveness for the greatest sins and sinners; but by this sin, they would oppose the gifts of the Holy Ghost after Christ's ascension. Such is the enmity of the heart, that unconverted men pretend believers are doing Satan's work, when sinners are brought to repentance and newness of life.

Verses 31-35 It is a great comfort to all true Christians, that they are dearer to Christ than mother, brother, or sister as such, merely as relations in the flesh would have been, even had they been holy. Blessed be God, this great and gracious privilege is ours even now; for though Christ's bodily presence cannot be enjoyed by us, his spiritual presence is not denied us.

Cross References 48

  • 1. For ver. 1-6, see Matthew 12:9-14; Luke 6:6-11
  • 2. Mark 1:29
  • 3. Luke 14:1; Luke 20:20; [Luke 11:54; John 8:6]
  • 4. [Luke 14:3]
  • 5. ver. 34; Mark 5:32; Mark 10:23; [Mark 10:21]
  • 6. Mark 6:52; Romans 11:25; Ephesians 4:18
  • 7. [1 Kings 13:4]
  • 8. See Matthew 12:14
  • 9. See Matthew 12:14
  • 10. Mark 12:13; Matthew 22:16; [Mark 8:15]
  • 11. Matthew 12:15
  • 12. Matthew 4:25; Luke 6:17
  • 13. Isaiah 34:5; Ezekiel 35:15
  • 14. See Matthew 11:21
  • 15. Mark 6:32, 45(Gk.); Mark 8:10(Gk.)
  • 16. Mark 5:24, 31
  • 17. See Matthew 4:23
  • 18. Mark 5:29, 34
  • 19. Mark 6:56; Matthew 9:20, 21; Matthew 14:36; Luke 6:19
  • 20. Mark 1:26, 34; Luke 4:41
  • 21. Luke 8:28
  • 22. See Matthew 14:33
  • 23. See Matthew 12:16
  • 24. Matthew 10:1; Luke 6:12, 13; [Mark 6:7-13; Luke 9:1, 2]
  • 25. John 13:18; John 15:16, 19
  • 26. [See ver. 13 above]
  • 27. [See ver. 13 above]
  • 28. For ver. 16-19, see Matthew 10:2-4; Luke 6:14-16; Acts 1:13
  • 29. Matthew 16:18; John 1:42
  • 30. Matthew 4:21
  • 31. Matthew 9:9
  • 32. Mark 7:17; Mark 9:28
  • 33. Mark 6:31
  • 34. [John 7:5]
  • 35. [ver. 31]
  • 36. 2 Corinthians 5:13; [John 10:20; Acts 26:24]
  • 37. Mark 7:1; Matthew 15:1
  • 38. Matthew 9:34; Matthew 12:24; Luke 11:15; [Matthew 10:25]; See John 7:20
  • 39. For ver. 23-27, see Matthew 12:25-29; Luke 11:17-22
  • 40. Isaiah 49:24
  • 41. [Isaiah 53:12]
  • 42. For ver. 28-30, see Matthew 12:31, 32; [Luke 12:10; Hebrews 6:4-6; Hebrews 10:26; 1 John 5:16]
  • 43. [Acts 7:51; Hebrews 10:29]
  • 44. For ver. 31-35, see Matthew 12:46-50; Luke 8:19-21
  • 45. Mark 6:3; Matthew 13:55; John 2:12; John 7:3, 5, 10; Acts 1:14; 1 Corinthians 9:5; Galatians 1:19
  • 46. ver. 5
  • 47. [John 15:14; Hebrews 2:11]
  • 48. Matthew 7:21; [Luke 11:28]

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Greek him
  • [b]. Other early manuscripts add and your sisters

Mark 3 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.