Friday, February 1, 2013

Mark 3 - Ministry and Accusations

Christ heals tne man with paralysed hand
By Sibeaster (Own work) [Public domain],
via Wikimedia Commons
LINK: Mark 3


BACKGROUND


46. Jesus heals a man's hand on the Sabbath: Matthew 12:9-14, Mark 3:1-6, Luke 6:6-11

Healing on the Sabbath was only allowed if a person's life was in danger. If Jesus did it, the religious leaders could accuse Him. In the Mark account, Jesus looked at the Pharisees in anger (only reference to Jesus' anger in the New Testament) because they would follow their laws versus exhibiting God's mercy toward the suffering. Mark also said that He was "grieved at their hardness of heart." Again, it was all about "compassion rather than sacrifice" (Hosea 6:6), and the religious leaders did not get that. They had already accused Him of blasphemy when He healed the paralytic (Matthew 9:1-8), and associating with sinners when He ate with Matthew's friends (Matthew 9:11-13), but now He had gone too far by violating the Law of God. They responded to this by plotting to kill Him. The Pharisees and Herodians were united because His authority overwhelmed their authority. 

This is the first time the Herodians are mentioned in our narrative.
HERODIANS -- a Jewish political party who sympathized with (Mark 3:612:13; Matt, 22:16Luke 20:20) the Herodian rulers in their general policy of government, and in the social customs which they introduced from Rome. They were at one with the Sadducees in holding the duty of submission to Rome, and of supporting the Herods on the throne. (Comp. Mark 8:15Matt. 16:6.)  
(Easton's Bible Dictionary)
47. Large Crowds Follow Jesus: Matthew 12:15-21, Mark 3:7-12 

We see how in the midst of opposition and unbelief, Jesus withdrew with His disciples but the crowds followed. The "great multitudes" included people from distant as well as nearby regions. The fact that He wanted a boat ready to escape is only reported in Mark. In this time, He delivered others of evil spirits who knew who He was. He did not want others to tell because the time had not yet come for more opposition. He had more to teach His disciples and the people that followed Him.

Matthew says this withdrawal fulfills Isaiah 42:1-4. Some commentators believe the enemies were "bruised reeds" and "dimly burning wicks," and He would not wrangle with them. Others see the reeds and wicks as the people the loving King would compassionately and lovingly serve.  Note the Godhead of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in Matthew 12:18 and Isaiah 42:1.

48. Jesus Chooses the Twelves Disciples: Mark 3:13-19; Luke 6:12-16

Jesus had many disciples who followed Him (2:15), but He appointed the 12 (corresponding to the 12 tribes of Israel) so that He could train them and send them out to preach and carry on His authority over demons. Training was the major focus of His ministry at this point in time. He knew He would be leaving these 12 men to carry on His work.
74. Religious leaders accuse Jesus of getting his power from Satan: Matthew 12:22-37, Mark 3:20-30

This section starts a new round of accusations from the religious elite. 


The crowds were beginning to see Him as the Messiah, but the religious leaders thought He was of Beelzebub (name of a devil that means "master of the house"). In order to make the connection, He gave us a picture of a strong man guarding His house! He pointed out the absurdity of assuming that Satan acts against himself. The charge that Jesus' exorcisms were due to Satan's power was ludicrous. No one can overtake this strong "master of the house" unless he shows he is more powerful, and that is exactly what Jesus had done! The part about blaspheming the Holy Spirit reflects an open and defiant hostility toward God. 

76. Jesus describes his true family: Matthew 12:46-50, Mark 3:31-35, Luke 8:19-21


Jesus asserts the importance of spiritual family. Even Jesus' own family (John 7:1-5) and hometown friends (Mark 3:21) did not understand His ministry. He emphasized the importance of the family of God. As one who comes from a family where God was not the center, my spiritual family has meant so much to me!



REFLECTION/APPLICATION


Here is an article regarding healing and deliverance by John Piper:


How is the Kingdom Present?


PRAYER


Lord, help us to be those who do Your will. Amen. 
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