Mark 3:7-35

Even with such large crowds begging for help, and from practically all the regions of Israel, Jesus is powerfully merciful towards them all. He successfully meets the challenge of helping them, even those with evil spirits. How did the unclean spirits react to Jesus?

Jesus had at least two reasons why he silenced demons, firstly because they were evil and had no right to speak out of turn before ruling divinity, as it is inappropriate for evil to proclaim what is holy. Secondly because if he let them speak the truth, in any capacity, the obvious political implications are not what Jesus wanted people to pursue, the timing of the public’s desire for a King had to wait till he was nearer the passion week. In this way Jesus was still in complete control of his self-sacrifice. At the end of his ministry, he did not deny such a lofty title as Christ when the high priest asked him (Mk. 14:61-62). But as his ministry developed (Mk. 8:29), Jesus began to ask his own closest disciples to define their identity of him. Here in the first year of ministry, Jesus is not only calling disciples, but he “Appoints” them, 3:14. What is the primary purpose in appointing or naming them? (Luke 6:13).

v20-22 shows us a persistent refusal of Jesus by Jewish Leaders, who are in contrast to his disciples. Mark even includes the physical family of Jesus as refusing to accept Jesus as even reasonably serving The Lord. The fact that Jewish leaders accuse Jesus of being in league with the devil (22-30) is included between Mark’s mention of Jesus’ family coming to restrain him (the Greek word for restrain here is also used to mean arrest; see Mk. 6:17, 12:12, 14:1-51) because they thought he was out of his mind (v21). This is an amazing conclusion by his physical family since they had been eye-witnesses to his first miracle of turning water into wine, see John 2:1-12. How do you think Mary and his brothers expect Jesus to make known his identity?

It is probably Mark’s intention in this passage to show that Jesus’ family is to be regarded as comparable to the experts in the law & Pharisees in their perception of the true identity of Jesus; the family of Jesus are wrong in their understanding of him as well. The tone is obviously one of sadness and the emphasis on Jesus’ true family in v31-35 effectively underscores the comparison between his relatives and the scribes on the one hand, and those who truly obey God on the other hand!

How did Jesus reply to the charge of casting out demons by the power of Satan?

If we are wrongfully charging the Forgiver to be in league with the Devil, how could we even want to be forgiven, much less be surprised to find out that it’s impossible to be forgiven of the sin of blasphemy?

Does it not surprise any reader of this passage to find that educated Jewish leaders would attribute the power of miracles performing so much good, to “Beelzebul”? It means “Lord of Dung Flies”. The only possible reason for doing this, is that they thought Satan was a master of deception, using his power for good to trick people into following him to their ultimate destruction. 

Who does Jesus describe as his “True” Family? v33-35.

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