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6: Jesus’ Authority (Mk 3:7-35)
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6: Jesus’ Authority (Mk 3:7-35)

I.       The Basics

A.     Setting

By now, Jesus was drawing a crowd wherever He went. People came from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, across the Jordan, and around Tyre and Sidon. To help Him in His ministry, Jesus appointed twelve apostles and gave them authority. As Jesus’ fame increased, so did the opposition. The scribes and even Jesus’ own family doubted that His authority was from heaven, and came up with their own explanations for Jesus’ actions.

B.     Key Verse

            “But he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation” (3:29).

C.     Did You Know…?

1. Idumea (3:8): The Greek form of the Hebrew “Edom,” but here does not refer to earlier Edomite territory.7/1495 After the destruction of Jerusalem in 587 B.C., the Edomites came from the east and settled in the area south of Hebron, which the Greeks and Romans later called Idumea. 9/641

2. Tyre and Sidon (3:8): Large Phoenician port cities on the Mediterranean coast. They were about 20 miles (32 km) apart, and often mentioned together. The two cities were often denounced by Old Testament prophets for their Baal worship.9/273

3. Disciple (3:7): Literally, “learner” or “student.”11

4. Apostle (3:14): Literally, “one who is sent.” It has the same root as the Greek word for the expression “that he might send” in verse 14. In addition to the original twelve, Matthias was later chosen to replace Judas Iscariot as an apostle (Acts 1:26), and Paul often refers to himself as an apostle in his letters.11

5. Peter (3:16): Aramaic word for “rock.” Peter is also known as “Cephas,” which is the Greek word for “rock.” The name differentiates him from Simon the Zealot.

6. Simon the Canaanite/Zealot (3:18): The name is translated as either “Canaanite” (NKJV), which refers to Simon’s birthplace, or “Zealot” (NIV), which might refer to his zealous character, or with his association with the party of the Zealots. The Zealots opposed the payment of tributes by Israel to the pagan Roman emperor because they viewed it as treason to God.5/1354To achieve their goals, they did not hesitate to use violence and deception.8/1036-7

7.  Judas Iscariot (3:19): Probably refers to where Judas came from (Kerioth, 12 miles [19 km] south of Hebron), which makes him the only apostle from Judea (the rest were from Galilee).7/1496

8. Beelzebub (3:22): Might be derived from the Hebrew baalzebub (‘lord of flies’), a mocking takeoff of baalzebul (“Prince Baal”), a pagan deity (2Kgs 1:2-3,16). In the New Testament, the name is identified with Satan, the prince of the demons.9/253

9. Satan (3:23): Literally, “Accuser.” One of the devil’s names (Rev 20:2).

II.    Observation

A.     Outline













B.     Keywords/Phrases

III. General Analysis

1. What did each of the following do when they heard what Jesus was doing? Why?

1a. Crowd

1b. Unclean spirits

1c. Apostles

1d. Jesus’ family

1e. Scribes

IV.  Segment Analysis

A.     3:7-12

1a. What is the significance of mentioning that the crowd came from Idumea, Tyre, and Sidon?

1b. Has there ever been an unexpected visitor to your church? How did he/she hear about the church?

1c.  Share a particular testimony that inspired your faith.

2. Why did Jesus order the unclean spirits not to tell who He was?

3. What wasn’t Jesus able to do because the people crowded Him?

B.     3:13-19

4a. What is the difference between a disciple and an apostle? (cf. Did You Know 3 and 4).

4b. What did Jesus appoint the apostles to do?

4c. Why was it important that the apostles be with Jesus (14)?

5a. Why did Jesus give Simon Peter a name? Why did He give James and John a name?

5b. Which other biblical characters did God give names to? What was the meaning/purpose of each name?

5c. If God were to give you a name, what would it be? Why?

6a. List the former occupations of the twelve apostles.

6b. Although the apostles differed in their culture, occupation, personalities, and opinions, Jesus appointed them to work together. Who in the church is very different from you? How do you work together with him or her?

6c. Judas Iscariot was probably the only apostle from Judea. Do you sometimes feel left out in the church? How do you deal with it?

C.     3:20-35

7a. What did Jesus’ family do wrong? How does their error relate to what Jesus said in 34-35?

7b. Jesus’ family let their concerns blind them to God’s will. What makes you blind to God’s will?

8. What have you done for the sake of your faith that might have seemed strange to other people?

9. What do you do when you disapprove of someone’s actions in church?

10a. Why did the scribes claim that Jesus was possessed by demons?

10b. How were the scribes guilty of blasphemy? (cf. Lesson 4, Did You Know 2 for the definition of “blasphemy.”)

10c. How can you tell if something is from God or the devil? (cf. Jn 16:13; 2Tim 3:15; 1Jn 4:1-6).

11. In the parable, what does each of the following represent?

11a. Strong man (Rev 20:1-3)

11b. House (1Jn 5:19; Rev 2:13)

11c. Possessions (Rom 6:20-21)

11d. Intruder (Mt 24:43-44; Rev 3:3)

12. What is the meaning of the parable?

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