Mark 3

1 Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there who had a withered hand.
2 They watched him to see whether he would cure him on the sabbath, so that they might accuse him.
3 And he said to the man who had the withered hand, "Come forward."
4 Then he said to them, "Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the sabbath, to save life or to kill?" But they were silent.
5 He looked around at them with anger; he was grieved at their hardness of heart and said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." He stretched it out, and his hand was restored.
6 The Pharisees went out and immediately conspired with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him.
7 Jesus departed with his disciples to the sea, and a great multitude from Galilee followed him;
8 hearing all that he was doing, they came to him in great numbers from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, beyond the Jordan, and the region around Tyre and Sidon.
9 He told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, so that they would not crush him;
10 for he had cured many, so that all who had diseases pressed upon him to touch him.
11 Whenever the unclean spirits saw him, they fell down before him and shouted, "You are the Son of God!"
12 But he sternly ordered them not to make him known.
13 He went up the mountain and called to him those whom he wanted, and they came to him.
14 And he appointed twelve, whom he also named apostles, to be with him, and to be sent out to proclaim the message,
15 and to have authority to cast out demons.
16 So he appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter);
17 James son of Zebedee and John the brother of James (to whom he gave the name Boanerges, that is, Sons of Thunder);
18 and Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Cananaean,
19 and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. Then he went home;
20 and the crowd came together again, so that they could not even eat.
21 When his family heard it, they went out to restrain him, for people were saying, "He has gone out of his mind."
22 And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, "He has Beelzebul, and by the ruler of the demons he casts out demons."
23 And he called them to him, and spoke 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 his end has come.
27 But no one can enter a strong man's house and plunder his property without first tying up the strong man; then indeed the house can be plundered.
28 "Truly I tell you, people will be forgiven for their sins and whatever blasphemies they utter;
29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit can never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin"—
30 for they had said, "He has an unclean spirit."
31 Then his mother and his brothers came; and standing outside, they sent to him and called him.
32 A crowd was sitting around him; and they said to him, "Your mother and your brothers and sisters are outside, asking for you."
33 And he replied, "Who are my mother and my brothers?"
34 And looking at those who sat around him, he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers!
35 Whoever does the will of God 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.

Footnotes 3

  • [a]. Other ancient authorities lack [whom he also named apostles]
  • [b]. Other ancient authorities lack [So he appointed the twelve]
  • [c]. Other ancient authorities lack [and sisters]

Mark 3 Commentaries