Mark 3:1-19 (Wednesday Evening Bible Study)

Mark 3:1-19

  • Mark 3:1-6
  • Jesus entered the synagogue again, and a man was there who had a shriveled hand. 2 In order to accuse him, they were watching him closely to see whether he would heal him on the Sabbath. 3 He told the man with the shriveled hand, “Stand before us.” 4 Then he said to them, “Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they were silent. 5 After looking around at them with anger, he was grieved at the hardness of their hearts and told the man, “Stretch out your hand.” So he stretched it out, and his hand was restored. 6 Immediately the Pharisees went out and started plotting with the Herodians against him, how they might kill him.
    • There was a dispatchment from the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem
      • They would have been unmistakeable, sitting in the seats of honor
      • They were not there to worship or learn
      • They were only there to keep tabs on Jesus, and He would have absolutely understood this
    • In the synagogue was a man with a paralyzed hand
      • The Greek indicates that this was not a birth defect…an injury or illness had occurred to cause this man’s disability
    • If Jesus was a cautious man, He would have made sure not to have interacted with this man, as it was the Sabbath
      • As we talked about in the last section, all work was forbidden on the Sabbath
      • Healing was considered work
      • Medical attention could be given only if a life was in danger
        • A woman in child birth could be helped
        • Infections of the throat could be treated
        • If a wall fell, enough could be moved to determine if anyone was alive…alive could be retrieved and helped…dead were to be left until after the Sabbath
        • A fracture could not be attended to
        • Cool water could not be poured on a sprain
        • A cut finger could be bandaged with a plain bandage (no ointment)
        • An injury could be kept from getting worse, but could not be made better
      • A strict Jew would not even defend himself on the Sabbath
        • Wars of the Maccabees
          • Jewish rebels took refuge in caves.
          • Syrian soldiers offered them a chance to surrender, but they refused
          • Syrians attacked on the Sabbath, burning the caves, without even having to close off the entrances
        • Pompey, Roman general besieging Jerusalem
          • Defenders took refuge in the Temple precincts
          • Pompey built a mound on the Sabbath that gave him the ability to overlook and bombard the area
          • They did nothing to stop him, because it was the Sabbath, even though doing nothing signed their own death warrants
        • Rome had a compulsory military service
          • Jews were eventually exempted from this because they refused to fight on the Sabbath
    • Jesus knew this man’s life was not truly in danger
      • He brought the man out to where everyone could see
      • He asked the scribes two questions
        • Is it lawful to do good or evil
          • They had to admit it was lawful to do good and unlawful to do evil
          • Healing the man was obviously a good thing
        • To save a life or to kill
          • In a sense, Jesus was saving this man’s life by giving him back his livelihood 
          • All while they were plotting to kill Him
    • Jesus then healed the man
      • The Pharisees immediately left and started plotting with the Herodians
      • No Pharisee would normally have anything to do with a Gentile or someone who did not keep the law (unclean)
      • The Herodians were the court entourage of Herod; they were continually coming into contact with Romans
      • They were prepared to enter into what was for them an unholy alliance. In their hearts, there was a hate which would stop at nothing
    • This passage shows the clash of two ideas of religion
      • Pharisees
        • Religion was a ritual
        • Obeying certain rules and regulations was the only thing that mattered
        • Jesus broke this, which made Him a “Bad” man
      • Jesus
        • Religion was service
        • Love God and others
        • To Jesus the most important thing in the world was not the correct performance of a ritual but the spontaneous answer to the cry of human need
  • Mark 3:7-12
  • 7 Jesus departed with his disciples to the sea, and a large crowd followed from Galilee, and a large crowd followed from Judea, 8 Jerusalem, Idumea, beyond the Jordan, and around Tyre and Sidon. The large crowd came to him because they heard about everything he was doing. 9 Then he told his disciples to have a small boat ready for him, so that the crowd wouldn’t crush him. 10 Since he had healed many, all who had diseases were pressing toward him to touch him. 11 Whenever the unclean spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, “You are the Son of God!” 12 And he would strongly warn them not to make him known.
    • The crowds are continuing to come to see Jesus due to His power of healing…and they are coming from 100+ miles away in some cases
    • Demon possessed were identifying Him as the Son of God
    • Continued theme of Jesus warning/not allowing anyone to tell others that He is the Messiah
      • Why?
      • It was not time for the cross yet, so He is helping to control the timeline
      • To show that He is the Messiah, He must first explain to the people what the Messiah was actually supposed to be
      • They had the wrong idea of what the Messiah was going to be and do.
  • Mark 3:13-19
  • 13 Jesus went up the mountain and summoned those he wanted, and they came to him. 14 He appointed twelve, whom he also named apostles, to be with him, to send them out to preach, 15 and to have authority to drive out demons. 16 He appointed the Twelve: To Simon, he gave the name Peter; 17 and to James the son of Zebedee, and to his brother John, he gave the name “Boanerges” (that is, “Sons of Thunder”); 18 Andrew; Philip and Bartholomew; Matthew and Thomas; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot, 19 and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.
    • Jesus chooses His disciples
    • He is established in His ministry, with His message and method
    • He’s been preaching throughout Galilee and His impact has been considerable
    • Two practical problems have now emerged
      • Finding a way to make His message permanent (if and when something happens to Him)
      • Finding a way of spreading His message far and wide in a time with no social media, print, news, etc.
      • To solve this problem, He chose those on whose hearts and lives He could write the message and who would go out from His presence to carry that message abroad
    • It’s significant for us that Christianity began with a group
      • From the beginning, the Christian faith is something that had to be discovered and lived out in fellowship
      • This was the complete opposite of the Pharisees (they separated themselves from those they were trying to teach
        • Pharisee literally means the separated one
      • The whole essence of Christianity from the beginning is that it bound men and women together and presented them with the task of living with each other and for each other
    • Christianity began with a very mixed group as well
      • Two extremes met in the disciples
        • Matthew the tax collector (Therefore an outcast)
        • Simon the Zealot (men that were pledged even to murder and assassination to clear their country of the foreign yoke)
        • The man who was lost to patriotism and the fanatical patriot came together in that group, and no doubt between them there were all kinds of backgrounds and opinions
      • Christianity began by insisting the most diverse people should live together by enabling them to do so, because they were all living with Jesus
    • By worldly standards, the men Jesus chose had no special qualifications
      • They weren’t wealthy, no special social position, no special education, not trained theologians, not high-ranking religious leaders, they were 12 ordinary men
      • Two special qualifications
        • They had felt the magnetic attraction of Jesus
        • They had the courage to show that they were on His side
      • These 12 had all kinds of faults, but whatever else could be said about them, they loved Jesus and they were not afraid to tell the world that they loved Him—and that is being a Christian
    • Jesus had called them to two purposes
      • He called them to be with Him
      • He called them to send them out (be on mission) (saved people serve people) (had been won to win others)
      • For their task, He equipped them with two things
        • He gave them a message
          • They were to be His heralds
          • A wise man said that no one has any right to be a teacher unless he has a teaching of his own to offer, or the teaching of another that with all the passion of his heart he wishes to grow
        • He gave them power
          • Because they were with Him, something of His power was on their lives

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