Mark 3:13-35

Sunday Morning Bible Study

October 17, 2004


We are in the beginning of the ministry of Jesus. He has been doing miraculous things. He’s been teaching amazing things. He’s had huge crowds following Him.

:13-19 The Twelve called

:13 …and calleth unto him whom he would…

Jesus didn’t ask for volunteers to be part of His inner group of twelve disciples. He chose the ones He wanted.

:14 And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach,

ordainedpoieo – to make; He “made” a group of twelve. The choosing of twelve men corresponds to the twelve tribes of Israel. Jesus came to reach His people, the Jews.

withmeta – with, after, behind. The verb “should be” indicates continuous action. They were to be continually “with” Jesus.

he might sendapostello – to order (one) to go to a place appointed; The word “apostle” comes from this word. The apostles were “sent” ones.



Preparation for ministry involves relationships
Relationship with Jesus
If you want to serve Jesus, you have to spend time with Him.
We don’t have the ability to physically spend time with Jesus as the disciples did.
But we still need to spend time with Him.

Paul learned in his ministry that the things he offered to others were only things that he had received from Jesus, from spending time with Jesus.

(1 Cor 11:23 KJV) For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you…

(1 Cor 15:3 KJV) For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received…

Relationships with others
Jesus spent time with His disciples, but He also told them that they needed to spend time with others:

(Mat 28:18-20 KJV) And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. {19} Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: {20} Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

He told them to take the things they had learned from Him, and to teach them to others.

The process of discipleship doesn’t end when you start taking on ministry. The challenge is to then pass on what you’ve learned to others.

(2 Tim 2:2 KJV) And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.

We see this in the life of the apostle Paul. He had his “group” around him of fellows that he was discipling.

(Acts 20:4 KJV) And there accompanied him into Asia Sopater of Berea; and of the Thessalonians, Aristarchus and Secundus; and Gaius of Derbe, and Timotheus; and of Asia, Tychicus and Trophimus.

Of these seven men, three of them we don’t too much about. But we do know that the other four would be leaders in the various churches.

These were guys that Paul had picked out as he went through the churches. These were fellows that Paul raised up in ministry.

Do you have people in your life that you’re learning from? Do you have people in your life that you are passing on your experience to?

:15 And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils:

powerexousia – delegated authority

It takes “authority” to heal and to cast out demons. Jesus gives us that authority.

(John 1:12 KJV) But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

:16 And Simon he surnamed Peter;

Jesus gave special names to some of His followers.

SimonShim‘own – Shimeon = “heard”

PeterPetros – “a rock or a stone”

Considered the leader among the apostles. Also thought to be the one as the major source of material in the gospel of Mark.

:17 And James …John …The sons of thunder

JamesIakobos – “supplanter”; in a way, we will probably call James “Jacob” in heaven.

JohnIoannes – “Jehovah is a gracious giver”; John would write the gospel of John.

Peter, James, and John are the “inner three”, the three that saw the most during Jesus’ ministry, the three that were closest to Jesus.

sons of thunder – The Aramaic word “Boanerges” means literally “sons of rage” while Mark interprets it as “sons of thunder”. The gospel of Mark is the only one to tell us their nickname. Keep in mind that we think this is Peter’s recollection of things. How did they get this nickname?

It sounds like a biker gang. Perhaps they were just “thunderous” preachers.

Another possibility could be that it described their “fiery” nature.

Mark records that they wanted to get rid of the “competition” when they heard about a fellow who cast out demons in Jesus’ name, but wasn’t part of the “twelve” (Mar. 9:38)

Another time James and John were bold enough to ask Jesus if they could have the number one and two spots in the kingdom (Mar. 10:35-37).

Luke records an incident where the Samaritan people weren’t being very nice to Jesus. James and John asked Jesus He wanted them to call down fire to destroy the people, kind of like something that Elijah did. Jesus responded to them:

(Luke 9:55-56 KJV) But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. {56} For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.

It’s quite a contrast to see John in his later years reminding people over and over to love one another (1John 4:7-8). Jesus can take all kinds of people. But He doesn’t leave them the way He finds them.

:18 And Andrew …

Andrew (“manly”) – Peter’s brother

Andrew had been a disciple of John the Baptist. Andrew apparently was there when Jesus showed up to be baptized by John and he heard John tell the crowd that Jesus was the Messiah.

(John 1:40-42 NLT) Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, was one of these men who had heard what John said and then followed Jesus. {41} The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother, Simon, and tell him, "We have found the Messiah" (which means the Christ). {42} Then Andrew brought Simon to meet Jesus. Looking intently at Simon, Jesus said, "You are Simon, the son of John--but you will be called Cephas" (which means Peter).
He’s the one that brought Peter to the Lord.

Upcoming Billy Graham Crusade.

This is going to be a great opportunity to invite people to Jesus.
Start praying now for people you’d like to be inviting.

Matthew – the tax collector also known as Levi, wrote the gospel of Matthew.

Thomas – as in “doubting”

:19 And Judas Iscariot, which also betrayed him

Jesus knew that Judas would betray Him. He still chose him.

After spending time on the mountain with Jesus, they come back to Capernaum, probably to Peter’s house. They’re a family now.

:20-21 Out of His mind

:20 …they could not so much as eat bread.

Probably the idea is that Jesus and His disciples were unable to eat.

(Mark 3:20 NLT) …soon he and his disciples couldn't even find time to eat.

There were times when Jesus found strength in other things than in food.

(John 4:30-34 NLT) So the people came streaming from the village to see him. {31} Meanwhile, the disciples were urging Jesus to eat. {32} "No," he said, "I have food you don't know about." {33} "Who brought it to him?" the disciples asked each other. {34} Then Jesus explained: "My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work.

:21 And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself.

friends – literally, “those from the side of Him”; it’s referring to Jesus’ family members (which we’ll see in verse 31).

heard of it – the phrase “of it” is not in the Greek. Jesus’ family has now heard of what He’s been doing – healing diseases, casting out demons, preaching and teaching.

to lay hold onkrateo – to have power, , seize; they’ve come the twenty miles from Nazareth to take Jesus home.

He is beside himselfexistemi – to throw out of position; to be out of one’s mind, insane


A psychiatrist was making his rounds at the state hospital one day when he entered a patient’s room. He found patient #1 sitting on the floor, pretending to saw a piece of wood in half. Patient #2 was hanging from the ceiling by his feet. The doctor asked patient #1 what he was doing. The patient replied, “Can’t you see? I’m sawing this piece of wood in half.” The doctor inquired of patient #1 what patient #2 was doing hanging upside down from the ceiling. “Oh, he’s my friend,” #1 said, “but he’s a little crazy. He thinks he’s a light bulb.” The doctor looked up and noticed that patient #2’s face was turning red. The doctor asked patient #1, “If he’s your friend, you should get him down from there before he hurts himself.” #1 replied, “What? And work in the dark?”

It seems as if Jesus’ family thought at this time that Jesus was a little crazy.

Have you ever had your family tell you that you were crazy for following Jesus?

:22-30 Unforgivable Sin

:22 …He hath Beelzebub, …casteth he out devils.

Beelzebub – The Greek word is actually beelzeboul, meaning “lord of the house”. But it might be a reference to the Hebrew word Baalzebub, an ancient Caananite deity. Either way, it’s referring to Satan, the prince of the demons.

The scribes need to come up with a reason to explain how Jesus is able to command the demons and they obey.

:24 And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.

When a country is divided, it’s going to have a hard time standing against an enemy.

:26 And if Satan rise up against himself

Jesus is saying that Satan isn’t stupid enough to be dividing his own kingdom.

:27 No man can enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house.

binddeo – to bind tie, fasten

Jesus is saying that He is simply stronger than Satan and the demons and is able to bind them.


Spiritual warfare

Satan’s kingdom is not divided. It’s still going strong.
(John 10:10 KJV) The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy…
(1 Pet 5:8 KJV) Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

I’ve heard Satan described as a “toothless lion”, that he makes a lot of noise but he’s quite harmless. If that’s the case, then why does Peter tell us to be sober and vigilant? Why does he tell us that Satan is trying to devour us? Satan is “toothless” compared to the authority and power of Jesus Christ, but he’s quite powerful compared to us.

We need to be aware that we are in a war.
We need to take the authority that Jesus gives to us and spoil the enemy.
I don’t think we need to fall into the trap of thinking there’s a demon under every rock.
But I also have this notion that too often we allow the enemy to get a foothold in our lives.
Sometimes Satan uses this same “warfare by division” against us and we aren’t even paying attention.

It happens in marriage – we can get mad at each other for the silliest things. We can carry grudges, we get selfish, we stop forgiving.

It can happen in relationships with other Christians.

What should we do about it?
Learn about spiritual weapons. Study Eph. 6.

Pray – ask for God’s help. Bind Satan. I wonder if it isn’t helpful to speak these things out loud.

Take action. Do what you need to do. Seek forgiveness. Pray with others.
Take ground against the enemy.

(2 Tim 2:24-26 NLT) The Lord's servants must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone. They must be able to teach effectively and be patient with difficult people. {25} They should gently teach those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people's hearts, and they will believe the truth. {26} Then they will come to their senses and escape from the Devil's trap. For they have been held captive by him to do whatever he wants.

:28 …and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme

blasphemiesblasphemia – slander, detraction; “malicious misrepresentation.”

:29 … but is in danger of eternal damnation:

in danger ofenochos – bound, under obligation, subject to, liable; guilty, worthy of punishment

damnationkrisis – a separating; judgment; sentence of condemnation

While a person is committing the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, they can not be forgiven. If they die in a state where they are blaspheming the Holy Spirit, they will face eternal judgment.

:30 Because they said, He hath an unclean spirit.

The scribes were committing the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit because they were attributing the work of the Holy Spirit through Jesus to Satan.


The unforgivable sin

Some folks wonder if they’ve committed the “unforgivable” sin.
Some think this is the sin of adultery. I imagine just about every sin has been considered the “unpardonable” sin at some point by whoever committed it.
The unforgivable sin is rejecting the work of the Holy Spirit.
In this incident in Jesus’ life, the scribes were committing this sin by saying that Jesus was using the power of Satan to perform His miracles.
I believe that one of the most common ways that people commit this sin today is by rejecting Jesus as their Savior.

We are saved by believing in Jesus. How does that work?

We are separated from God because of our sin.

Jesus came to pay the price for our sin.

When we choose to believe in Jesus and accept what He did by dying on the cross for us, we are forgiven for our sins.

One of the chief works of the Holy Spirit is to draw people to Jesus.

When we choose to reject what the Spirit is saying about Jesus, we are rejecting the forgiveness that God offers us through the sacrifice of Jesus dying on the cross for us.

And that can not be forgiven.

When a person rejects Jesus as their Savior, they are just like these scribes rejecting Jesus. They are in danger of facing judgment. And if they continue to reject Jesus as their savior, and they die in that state of having rejected Jesus, they will face the judgment of hell.

Does that sound unfair? God doesn’t want you to go to hell. He has paid the ultimate price to keep you from going to hell. Jesus died on a cross to keep you from hell. It’s as if Jesus would say to you, “You’re going to hell over My dead body”. You have to step over Jesus to get to hell. And yet some people will chose to do that.

:31-35 The Family

:31 There came then his brethren and his mother…

We pick up the story back in verses 20-21 where Jesus’ family had come to take Him home.

This would include at least His mother Mary, as well as possibly His brothers James and Jude. His brothers did not believe in Him at this time. They can’t get inside the house because of the crowd.

:35 For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.

They become a part of His family.

What does it mean to “do the will” of God?

(John 6:29 KJV) Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

(1 Tim 2:3-6 KJV) For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; {4} Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. {5} For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; {6} Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

When we believe in Jesus, we have a new “birth” and become God’s children:

(John 1:12 KJV) But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

Where are you today?

Are you part of the group that is rejecting the work of the Holy Spirit, saying “no” to Jesus?

Are you part of the group that has become the family of Jesus, following after Him?