Jesus’ Fame Increases (3:7-12)
Crowd follows Him (7-10)
Unclean spirits cry out (11-12)
Jesus Appoints the Twelve
Purpose and authority of
appointing the apostles (13-15)
The names of the apostles (16-19)
Jesus’ family goes to take charge
of Him (20-21)
Scribes accuse Jesus of being
possessed by Beelzebub (22)
Parable of a house against itself
Jesus’ family arrives (31-32)
Jesus emphasizes doing God’s will
over family relationships (33-35)
Crowd, appointed, designating,
given authority, out of His mind, possessed, blaspheme, family
1a. Crowd—gathered around Jesus and followed Him. They came mostly for
healing, because they heard “how many things He was doing,” not what He was
teaching. They were so anxious for miracles that they pushed against each other
and Jesus (10, 20). (But because the crowd was there all the time, Jesus had to
take extra time and effort to accomplish anything else [9, 13, 20].)
1b. Unclean spirits—They cried out “You are the Son of God.” They knew
that Jesus had God’s authority and power, and feared Him (Jas 2:19).
1c. Apostles—They came to Jesus when He called them to the mountainside.
At this point they probably knew that Jesus was not an ordinary teacher
(especially when He gave them the authority to drive out demons).
1d. Jesus’ family—They were worried for His physical and mental
wellbeing (They knew that He had not had the time to eat, and they also thought
he was out of His mind). Perhaps they were embarrassed because they did not
believe Jesus deserved so much attention. They might have thought they could
put Jesus in His place, so they went to take charge of Him.
1e. Scribes—They came from Jerusalem
to oppose Jesus because they claimed that Jesus was demon-possessed and that He
was given power by Beelzebub.
1a. In addition to the Jewish population, pagan worshippers also came. They
probably had not witnessed many of Jesus’ miracles (Mt 11:20-21), and had only
heard of what Jesus was doing. However, just hearing about Jesus gave them
enough faith to come.
2. cf. Lesson 3, Question 8.
3. Because the crowd was pushing
up against Him and each other, Jesus had to separate Himself in a small boat.
This made it much more difficult for Jesus to heal, spend time alone, pray, or
teach. He did not even have time to eat. He had to take extra effort to
accomplish his work. By crowding up against Jesus, the crowd thought of only
their own needs (miracles), which was only a small part of Jesus’ ministry.
4a. A disciple is on the receiving end, learning and preparing for the
work ahead. An apostle is sent to work for God. Note that the Bible continues
to refer to the twelve apostles as “disciples,” which implies that the learning
process never ends. Jesus sent them out when they were still spiritually
immature (cf. Mk 8:17-18), but He was patient with their shortcomings.
Eventually these apostles became God’s mighty workers.
4b. To be with Jesus; to preach; to heal; to drive out demons (14-15).
Jesus needed help. Just healing the crowd took up all of Jesus’ time; He
couldn’t accomplish other things He needed to do.
4c. The apostles were selected to be witnesses “beginning from John’s
baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up” (Acts 1:21-22, NIV). God continued
to build them up spiritually until they were prepared to become the foundation
of the church (Eph 2:20). In Mark, we see how they learned from Jesus by
observing His actions.
The apostles’ primary task was to
be with Jesus. Likewise, before we do God’s work, we must first cultivate
ourselves spiritually through prayer and God’s word. We must understand and
obey God’s will as well as experience His power (Lk 10:21-23). Otherwise, we
will be unable to be witnesses for Christ and even risk being rejected by God
5a. Peter used to be a fisherman, and Jesus promised that he would
become a “fisher of men” (Mk 1:17). His new name signifies his new identity.
Jesus gave him great authority and responsibility, for he, along with the other
apostles, had been entrusted with the authority from Christ to establish the
church (Mt 16:18-19). For the sake of the gospel, Peter would eventually lose his
freedom and his life (Jn 21:18-19). Changing Simon’s name to “rock” also
reminded him that he was built on Jesus Christ, who is the true foundation of
the church (Eph 2:20; 1Pet 2:4-8).
“Boanerges,” as Mark explains,
means, “Sons of Thunder” (17). This might describe James and John’s zeal and
energy, and possibly their violent nature (Lk 9:51-55). Jesus might have used
this nickname to remind them to overcome their shortcoming. Like the other
apostles, after they received the Holy Spirit, James and John were transformed
into great workers of God. James was killed for his faith (Acts 12:1-2). John
eventually became known for his gentle exhortation to love one another (1Jn
5b. Abraham—to confirm God’s promise that he would be “a father of many
nations” (Gen 17:5)
Sarah—she would become “a mother
of many nations” (Gen 17:15).
Isaac—means “he laughs”; a
reminder of Abraham’s laughter when hearing the promise of God (Gen 17:19).
Jacob (“Israel”)—to remind Him how he
struggled with God and with men and had prevailed (Gen 32:28)
Magor-Missabib—means “terror on
every side”; a name that pronounces divine judgment on the wicked servant of
God (Jer 20:1-6).
Jezreel, Lo-Ruhamah and Lo-Ammi—to
depict the broken relationship between God and His people (Hos 1:4-9).
John the Baptist—a prophecy that
he will do great work for the Lord, “in the spirit and power of Elijah” (Lk
1:13-17). His naming also broke with family tradition (Lk 1:60-61) to show that
God was greater than human tradition.
Jesus—He is the Son of God, the
king of kings (Lk 1:31-33).
6a. Fishermen (Peter, Andrew [Mk 1:16], James, John [Mk 1:19], Thomas,
Nathanael [Jn 21:2-3]), tax collector (Matthew [Mt 10:3]), political activist
(Simon the Zealot [Lk 6:15]). Note that Matthew and Simon the Zealot were on
opposite extremes in the political spectrum. Simon viewed paying taxes to the
Roman government as treason to God, while Matthew’s very job was to collect
7a. Jesus’ family should have known from their experience that Jesus was
not an ordinary man (Lk 2:19, 50-51; Jn 2:3-5). However, they were focused on
the rumors they had heard, and what they considered to be peculiar behavior on
Jesus’ part, rather than what God had revealed to them.
In trying to help Jesus, Jesus’
mother and brothers were acting against God’s will. Our relationship with our
family members must reflect our relationship with God, but God must come first.
For example, Paul teaches us to “obey your parents in the Lord” (Eph 6:1). If
we obey God, we become members of one family, connected through Jesus Christ
(Eph 5:30). Our spiritual relationship is better than mere blood relations.
Here, Jesus extends His love to all those who believe.
However, Jesus does not downplay
the importance of our earthly family. Jesus showed His love for His mother
while on the cross. During the most desperate moments in His life, Jesus made
sure that His mother would be taken care of (Jn 19:25-27).
10a. The scribes should have known
from their knowledge that Jesus was not an ordinary man. They were familiar
with the prophecies of the Messiah, and could not overlook everything Jesus had
said and done. John the Baptist had confirmed that Jesus is from heaven (Mk
1:8). God Himself said Jesus is his Son (Mk 1:11). Jesus had proven His
authority to forgive sins (Mk 2:10-11). People were amazed by Jesus’ teachings
(Mk 1:22). In spite of all this, the scribes wanted to assert their authority
in the spiritual matters. Since they continued in their unbelief, the only
“reasonable” explanation for them was that Jesus received His authority from
10b. They claimed that Jesus had a
demon, therefore attributing evil to God.
10c. The Holy Spirit (Jn 16:13);
biblical knowledge (2Tim 3:15); acknowledging Jesus Christ (1Jn 4:2-3); speaks
of the truth, not of the world (1Jn 4:5); how it is accepted by the people of
God (1Jn 4:6).
11a. Strong man—Satan. God binds
him in order to save our soul (Rev 20:2-3).
11b. House—kingdom of Satan; the
world; opposition, persecution
11c. Possessions—people under
11d. Intruder—Jesus. Only He has
power over Satan and his dominion.
12. Satan does not plunder himself. If he did, his kingdom would fall.
The demons are all working together against God, so it is illogical to conclude
that you can drive out a demon by the power of Satan.
There are many testimonies in the
True Jesus Church about people who were demon-possessed. When they try to get
help from the idols or exorcists, their conditions became worse. We can only
drive out unclean spirits by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Likewise, if the church is divided
against itself, it cannot stand. In a sense, we would be worse than the demons.
That is why the devil tries to split the church apart (1Cor 1:10-13; 3:3-5).