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-LESSON 5: MARK 3

by Dr. D ~

Lesson 5: Mark 3

First read Mark 3 all the way through.

 

The ‘Supernatural’ Acts and Events in Mark 3

Things you don’t see or hear every day:

Verse 4:

-Jesus knew what they were thinking 

Verse 5:

-Hand is healed 

Verse 10:

-Many were healed 

Verses 11-12:

-Evil spirits know who he is 

Verse 15:

-Gave the Apostles authority 

Verse 29:

-Prophetic declaration.

 

Notes and Commentary:

 

I.  Famous Healing Ministry:  Verses 1-12

     Verse 4 Jesus asks if it is all right to do good on the Sabbath?  Seems like a ridiculous question to us.  But Jesus knew what the religious leaders were thinking. They were looking for ways to accuse Jesus as an ‘evil’ sinner. This was probably a ‘set-up,’ at least that is what it became since I am sure they expected Jesus to heal the guy. According to their traditions, since Jesus was a ‘healer’ then healing was technically his ‘work’ and to do so on the Sabbath would therefore be a violation of the ‘Law’. 

A convoluted understanding at best, and Jesus pointed out the hypocrisy of it.  After all, if you can help someone or heal someone, that should be considered a ‘good’ thing.  If you don’t help when you can wouldn’t that actually be evil?  Jesus healed the man anyway.

     Verses 7-12  Jesus Becomes Famous

People literally came from different cities, towns, and regions to observe and/or be healed by Jesus.

Medical science then was nothing like it is today. Nevertheless, can you imagine what would happen if Jesus showed up on main street or in a mall near you and began to heal everyone regardless of the disease or injury? Soon the TV cameras would show up and the crowds would come from all over.

First the ‘experts’ on TV would question whether Jesus was a charlatan who was ultimately motivated by fame or fortune. Then some would question whether he was illegally practicing medicine when he declared people healed. Finally, the interviews of key religious leaders would follow. Some would question his education and credentials while others would confidently explain that all the miracles ceased and any today come from demonic sources to lead folks astray.

It would be fun to see them try to explain away all of the real miracles. The media ignores almost all of the healings, miracles, and answers to prayer in the Christian community today. But it would be hard to ignore or explain away someone who publically heals everyone and every disease plus even raises the dead.

 

II.  Appoints Apostles & Gives Them Authority:  Verses 13-19

Jesus gave the 12 ‘authority’ (Can’t give what you don’t have–Jesus has authority)

To Do What?

1.  Be with him

2.  Preach

3.  Drive out demons

 

III.  What Folks Think About Jesus and How He Responds: Verses 20-22, 31-35 

     Verses 20-21  His family thinks he’s crazy? At least his brothers had questions about his sanity but I have always wondered if Mary his mother really thought that way also? I find it hard to believe that she did. Nevertheless she went along for the ride.

     Verse 22  Religious leaders think he is possessed by Satan himself.

     Verses  23-30  Jesus says that it is The Holy Spirit giving him authority.

     Verses 31-35  Mother & Brothers come again to confront him.

 

IV.  The Different Responses of the People: 

1.  His own family came to take charge of him thinking he’s ‘out of his mind? I wonder what kind of reports that they must have heard in Nazareth to be worried about Jesus and to travel 30 miles to bring him home.

2.  The religious leaders are threatened by his authority & plot against him. 

3.  The Apostles commit themselves to be with Jesus & participate in his ministry. 

4.  The regular folk flock to see Jesus. There is no TV or Movie theater so for many this was the best entertainment they had ever seen.  

5.  The sick are desperate to get to Jesus. After all they want to be healed and he delivers for free. Far better than any physician in that day. The numbers were so overwhelming that sometimes Jesus didn’t even get to eat or rest!

 

V.  The Way Jesus Responds:  

1.  He heals the sick. 

2. Preaches to the crowds. 

3. Gives special attention & authority to the 12. 

4.  He challenges the religious ‘leaders’, shows their hypocrisy, & condemns them for calling the work of the Holy Spirit demonic. 

5.  He rejects the way his family is treating him, & includes all who follow him and do God’s will as his ‘real’ family. This could include us today.

VI.  Source of Authority and ‘Unforgiveable’ Blasphemy: Verse 29

Over the years, I have had a surprising number of Christians come to me wondering if they had committed this ‘unforgivable’ sin.  My answer has always been the same-anyone concerned about it definitely hasn’t. One’s concern is the poof of the matter.  It means that the Holy Spirit is still working on you. Fact is, any sin without Jesus is ultimately ‘unforgiveable.’

Here in chapter 3 ‘religious’ leaders and authorities are claiming that Satan is the source for all of the supernatural acts and healings of Jesus. Jesus says that the Holy Spirit is the source and that they are actually committing an ‘unforgivable’ blasphemy when they claim that the work of the Spirit of God is demonic.

Think about the context. All of the temple sacrifices and the blood of animals could only temporarily cover sin. In this case the authorities were actually opposing God and there were no provisions for forgiveness for that in the sacrifices of the Mosaic law. Complete eternal forgiveness waited for the ultimate final sacrifice that came later with the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. Only the blood of Jesus could really wash away their blasphemy forever and they not only did not believe in him but called his work and ministry demonic.

Later one of their number (a Pharisee) would be struck down on the road to Damascus and become one of the greatest of the early Apostles. Think about this, Saul (Paul) not only rejected Jesus and his ministry and thought it evil like these guys here in Mark 3, but also tried to eliminate everyone who even did believe in Jesus.

He was responsible for the deaths of many early believers including Stephen. The temple sacrifices and the temporary forgiveness through the blood of animals could never even begin to cover his acts, murders, and unbelief. Only the Blood of Jesus could wash it all away for all eternity through faith alone (Rom. 3:23-25). Otherwise it was all unforgiveable. When Paul accepted Jesus it changed his destiny forever.

The ultimate ‘unforgiveable’ sin is to die without committing yourself to Jesus after a lifetime of rejecting every opportunity given to you by the Holy Spirit. Fact is, any sin without Jesus is ultimately ‘unforgiveable.’

 

-Read Mark 4 in preparation for LESSON #6

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