MARK

Chapter Three

 

Mark 3:1 And he entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand.

2 And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him.

3 And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand, Stand forth.

4 And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace.

5 And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other.

6 And the Pharisees went forth, and straightway took counsel with the Herodians against him, how they might destroy him.

7 But Jesus withdrew himself with his disciples to the sea: and a great multitude from Galilee followed him, and from Judaea,

8 And from Jerusalem, and from Idumaea, and from beyond Jordan; and they about Tyre and Sidon, a great multitude, when they had heard what great things he did, came unto him.

9 And he spake to his disciples, that a small ship should wait on him because of the multitude, lest they should throng him.

10 For he had healed many; insomuch that they pressed upon him for to touch him, as many as had plagues.

11 And unclean spirits, when they saw him, fell down before him, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of God.

12 And he straitly charged them that they should not make him known.

13 And he goeth up into a mountain, and calleth unto him whom he would: and they came unto him.

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

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

16 And Simon he surnamed Peter;

17 And James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James; and he surnamed them Boanerges, which is, The sons of thunder:

18 And Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Canaanite,

19 And Judas Iscariot, which also betrayed him: and they went into an house.

20 And the multitude cometh together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread.

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

22 And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth he out devils.

23 And he called them unto him, and said unto them in parables, How can Satan cast out Satan?

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

25 And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.

26 And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end.

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.

28 Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme:

29 But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation.

30 Because they said, He hath an unclean spirit.

31 There came then his brethren and his mother, and, standing without, sent unto him, calling him.

32 And the multitude sat about him, and they said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee.

33 And he answered them, saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren?

34 And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!

Mark 3:35 For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.

CHAPTER THREE: Christ starts with controversy

1. God's power divides sheep from goats- Vs. 1-12

2. Calling and ordaining the disciples- Vs. 13-21

3. Condemnation of Christ- Vs. 22-30

4. The family of Christ- Vs. 31-35

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1. God's power divides sheep from goats- Vs. 1-12

Matthew 12:30 He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.

It is essential to Christian ministry to divide the group.

No fruit will come when peace is the priority.

Similar scene in Luke-

Luke 14:1 And it came to pass, as he went into the house of one of the chief Pharisees to eat bread on the sabbath day, that they watched him.

2 And, behold, there was a certain man before him which had the dropsy.

3 And Jesus answering spake unto the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day?

4 And they held their peace. And he took him, and healed him, and let him go;

5 And answered them, saying, Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and will not straightway pull him out on the sabbath day?

6 And they could not answer him again to these things.

Vs. 1-3- Jesus knew He would offend the religious leaders.

Would you have suggested He not stir up trouble that way?

Jesus made trouble for certain people.

This was a teaching method He used often.

ILL. Would you go into a Catholic church and make a scene on "the Sabbath?"

Art and Max decided they wanted to see the inside of Fountain Street Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  They took an arm  full of rapture pamphlets, and they entered the side door.  This church was once the light of Grand Rapids, but today, it is the most blasphemous demon hole in the midwest USA.  The Gospel and Jesus Christ are attacked there every Sunday with great zeal.

Art and Max got inside, and the janitor came along.  He asked them what they wanted.  They said they had never seen the main sanctuary, and they were eager to do so.  The janitor thought they wanted to "get religion" inside, so he unlocked the sanctuary doors and let them in.  He told them he was busy, so they could just let themselves out.  

Art and Max, once left alone, rapidly put the rapture booklets in many of the hymn books.  I would have loved to be in the balcony when the paganized alleged Christians opened up the order of worship No. 6 and found that they were on their way to hell in a hand basket.  At least one Sunday was confounded as the preacher tried to trash the Word of God.

Vs. 4- Jesus asked many questions.

What is the question here?

It is to put the devil's crowd on the spot.

Their answer?- Silence

Cf. Mark 9:33 And he came to Capernaum: and being in the house he asked them, What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way?

34 But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest.

Luke 20:26 And they could not take hold of his words before the people: and they marvelled at his answer, and held their peace.

There is a time for the godly to hold their peace.

Mark 14:57 And there arose certain, and bare false witness against him, saying,

58 We heard him say, I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands.

59 But neither so did their witness agree together.

60 And the high priest stood up in the midst, and asked Jesus, saying, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee?

61 But he held his peace, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked

him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?

Vs. 5- A time for anger

Jesus was angry.

Milk toast Christians allow no time for anger.

Cf- John 2:13 And the Jews' passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

14 And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:

15 And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables;

16 And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise.

17 And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.

Jesus' anger was not for Himself-- It was for His Father's holiness.

ILL. Story of the donut shop in Barstow.

I was at the donut shop in Barstow, California having a cup of coffee and a donut.  I was minding my own business, but I noticed a tall heavy man and his family across the room.  The man was dressed like a dude, "rings on his fingers and bells on his toes," and he was loudly extolling himself to a lady across from him.  He boasted of being the only faith healer in the USA who was doing the job right.  He mentioned a couple of Bible teachings that only he could get right.  I about choked on my donut at his childish heresy.  

The lady across from him was listening in rapture and seemed to be believing every word.  I decided the prudent thing was to stay out of it, which is humanly very smart.  I stuffed more donut into my mouth to be sure I kept still.  Yet I began to boil inside as I saw his pompous self aggrandizement, and the lady's credulous attention to the man.  Though I was not aware of it, God was giving me rage on His behalf.

I DID intend to keep my mouth shut.  Solomon said that is a smart thing to do.  BUT, the Holy Spirit had other ideas.  I suddenly-- I am not making this up to be dramatic-- I suddenly found myself talking to this man in the sweetest tones, while my inner rage was secretly becoming explosive.  The healer looked down at me in the most condescending archbishop's manner and gave me approval and a few words of corny blessing.  I complimented him for being such a great healer, then I asked him to show me a few verses from the Bible to illustrate some nutty heretical claim he made.  I don't even remember what the claim was.  His expression changed at once and became very sinister and sarcastic.  He offered no verses, but he attacked mercilessly.

"You are a Catholic priest aren't you?" he almost yelled.

I answered in a priesty manner, "And what if I am?  Should you not be able to answer a simple request for Bible proof of your claims?"

"He literally yelled, "You are a priest, you are a priest. You are a Catholic priest.  I know it, I know it."

I said, "OK sir, I am NOT a Catholic priest.  You missed that prophecy.  Now, let's hear the Bible verses which confirm your claims.  Or, are you trying to evade my question?"

He stammered and stuttered, and I noted that his family were glancing at each other and snickering, always looking down their noses at me with hateful sneers.  He tried to regroup his demonic brain and start another attack.  I listened politely and tried to look sincere and merry.

After he tried to categorize me again in some way, I asked, "Sir do you love me?"

This startled him, but he responded with a completely changed and fake sincerely, "Yes sir, I love you very much for Jesus' sake."

I then suddenly yelled him in a rage at my top volume, "Then why are your wife and kids snickering and mocking at me like that?"

We wheeled in renewed rage on his family and glared on them.  They at once sat up straight and became expressionless as zombies.  I nearly fell out at that point.  It was absolutely hilarious-- you had to be there to appreciate it.  I glanced at the owner of the shop, and he was hanging out the serving window with his jaw hanging down and his mouth wide open in amazement.  I threw a glance at the lady the faith healer had been schmoozing, and she looked like she was going into shock.  Rev. Wonderful and his clan had suddenly been made spiritually and mentally naked, and she could now see things a lot better.

Then it hit me.  I had NOT intended to say a thing.  I am just as timid as you are about starting a scene in public.  God however; had decided to enter His side in this matter in spiritual warfare, and I was the one on hand.  I began to feel a sense a real awe and godly hubris as I realized I had not been in control of my own mind.  The words tumbled out in a way that I could not manage on my own.  

By this time the Charismatic healing / prophet stood and told his family they were leaving.  They abandoned their donuts, which I think, by the girth on the healer, must have been a true miracle.  As they left, I tell the truth, the man walked stiff legged as a wooden soldier, and he glared all around at everyone in the shop  His family were stiff and struggling to walk in a way that I could not then describe.  I now wonder if angels were also at war there, and Michael or some other helper was literally dragging them out the door.  I saw this one other time in Grant, Michigan when I resisted a demonic preacher from the Methodist church who came to disrupt our service by Satanic stealth.  He was also literally dragged down the hall and out the door.  Seeing this sort of thing makes you KNOW that spiritual warfare is real and it is "big time" folks.

I turned to the lady the healer had been schmoozing, and I asked her what her church was.  She broke down trembling and began to thank me for helping her escape being further deceived.  She said she was a Methodist.

I warned her about Satanic deception, and I asked her to read a passage in the Bible which I cannot remember now.  I asked her to be sure she knew Jesus Christ as Savior by faith, then I went to the owner of the shop and apologized for the behavior of the tramp faith healer and the scene the customers had to see.  The owner at once started thanking me for getting the men out of the shop.  I gave glory to the Lord, and I walked out to my car.

Satan's imps don't give up quietly.  The faith healer was waiting and standing beside his touring rust bucket.  He stood up tall, and pointed his fat bejeweled finger at me.  "You have sexual sin,"  he yelled at the top of his voice.  I was not ready for this, and I started laughing.  The war was over, but the circus had started.  The donut shop was right next to a gas station, and the attendants were all outside.  They heard this mighty announcement of the healer, and they fell out laughing.  They were laughing and roaring around repeating the healer's last blabber while they pointed at each other.  The healer and family went zig-zagging down the main street of town and out of sight.  "Holy drunks" is what they would be called today at Trinity Brampton and Brownsville, and they were just that-- demonically drunk.

I realized as I drove away that this war was 100% out of my hands.  I had no idea what would come of it later, and I never heard.  But, I knew that God was in great wrath over this abuse of truth and the abuse of the lady, a lamb who was believing the healer's every word.  This, my friends, is how we enter the war-- on behalf of our Lord, not for our own sake, and often suddenly with no warning.  The war is often way beyond our notions of what should happen next.  I have read some of these How-To books on spiritual warfare.  They are clever, but they are trash.  I have never seen their accounts and strategies in action.  I think they are 95% fiction.

By the way, I pulled into Von's Market to buy some groceries for my wife a few minutes later.  As I stopped the car, a great sense of filth came over me.  I realized I was not sinning, but I had just handled a filthy hog for the Lord, and we get a sense of being dirtied by Satan's manure during such warfare.  Has this ever happened to you?  It is not in the How-To books!  And I can assure you that the Master who washed the disciples' feet does not leave His warriors dirty for long.

As I walked to the store entrance, I saw a man getting out of his car with a Pennsylvania plate, and on the bumper was a sticker saying something about Jesus.  I asked the man if he loved Jesus.  My soul was hungry for something clean.  His face broke into a monstrous jolly grin, and he assured me he did love Jesus, and he asked if I loved the Lord.  

We found at once a fellowship in the Lord, and we went into the store talking about the faith of Christ.  He said he had asked God to lead him to a born again saint every day on a long business trip, and, "You are my Christian for today," he assured me.  I asked him what church he fellowshipped with in Pennsylvania.  I was not ready for the answer.  He told me a Pentecostal church.  He gave me a big Pentecostal hug and we parted rejoicing.  

I at first was puzzled, then I almost cried.  God was telling me that the faith healer was a Pentecostal demonic fraud, but the Holy Spirit wanted me to know that He still had some real saints in the Pentecostal church, even though they have some doctrinal problems.  

I have never forgotten that lesson.  I never put a Pentecostal into a box.  I find out first if he is born again, then, if he is, I treat him as a brother with whom I have a real doctrinal problem, but he is the Lord's none the less.  I have been blessed many times for this, and Balaam's Ass Speaks Journal is tempered with my love for Pentecostals who are true saints.  Many write and thank us for helping them see things they need to deal with, and they thank us for not attacking them personally.  Of course, the Benny Hinns and Paul Crouches get the same blast I gave the faith healer in that donut shop.  You pompous Fundamental Baptists better be more useful and tender with the lambs in these churches today-- some are being lead OUT by the Lord, and if you stigmatize them, you will miss the blessing of humbly "leading them forth." 

In this state of mind, humbled by God's new lesson in how to discern saints, I wheeled along my shopping cart (trolley in the UK) with my mind turning these things over and over.  

"Hi pastor," someone said right in front of me.  The lights came on, and there I saw Chet Boyd, a leader of our church, standing right in front of me.  I could not speak.  I was choked up so bad.  God was washing my feet, first with a Pentecostal saint and now with a man of one mind with me.  I told Chet of what had just happened, and he was deeply touched.  I hardly ever saw him in Barstow unless we set an appointment to meet for coffee or lunch.  God had planted Chet right in my path on prupose.

Do you crave "something more" like so many Charismatics cry for these days?  Do you want, not only the "second blessing," but the third, fourth, and two thousandth blessing?  Well, try getting into the war instead of demanding that God heal you of the gout.  I promise you, the gout will be far from your mind after you have been used of Jehovah God to pull down some stronghold of Satan and comfort some vulnerable lamb.

As I traveled home, my heart was full, and my mind very busy as I contemplated how God had, in His sovereign Grace, arranged that day just for Himself and me.  I think you can tell that this experience was a very precious and special moment between my Lord and myself.  We will talk of it often in the Glory I am sure.  And, I want to meet the angel who dragged that family out the door.  

God is so good, but I have found that He reveals Himself most mightily when the war is hot and heavy.  The Ethiopian Christians have a chorus which begins, "Egziabiere, keind Hoy tennes..."  "Oh God, show us your mighty arm."  If you pray this prayer, He will-- but get ready for war, not a tea party.

Vs. 6- The power of God is wasted on some.

How is this true today?

- When an evil man is changed by the Gospel- BUT NOT SAVED!

ILL. Our 2nd beginning in America. Unsaved men used the Bible as guide, not as absolute Truth.

The New Age uses our teaching on being Born Again to explain their "walk ins" which are actually demonic possessions.

They  want us to believe that some Christians are in fact possessed of "spirit guides" known to us as devils.

This is how the wicked deal with the new birth.

Vs. 7-9- There are the sheep-- those who believe the Gospel.

Note the distances they came from.

Vs. 10-12- Note again the warfare against Jesus.

Again a warning-- Don't let the devil or his servants do your preaching for you.

Cf. Acts 16:16 And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying:

17 The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation.

18 And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.

19 And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas, and drew them into the marketplace unto the rulers,

2. Calling and ordaining the disciples Vs. 13-21

Vs. 13- There is a time to go up to a mountain.

NOT to some alleged Bible conference.

Simply go apart.

ILL. Brother Barbee. Brother Barbee was a pastor in Bishop, California.  He had worked in the church there for a long time, and nothing was happening.  The more he preached, the more people got mad and left the church.  It was getting smaller and smaller.  We can tell stories of how this is God's way of working, but when it is happening to you, it does NOT feel good.  Often God withholds new fruit until He has the church where He wants it, and this was happening to brother Barbee.

This brother one day climbed the mountains above Bishop, and he prayed to God.  He told God he would stay to the end, and he would turn the key in the door and close the church for good if that was God's will.  He was broken hearted, because he had had high hopes for the church to prosper and grow.

That was the turning point.  Revival broke forth, and the church grew rapidly and filled to overflowing.  Brother Barbee loves to tell this story to discouraged pastors.

Vs. 14-15- Ordination is:

Special- He didn't ordain the whole crowd.

To be a preacher- Today, missionaries, office managers, ladies in some churches...

Not insurance that a snake is not present- Judas. Did sign miracles Mt. 10:4-8

To go forth- It is NOT to flaunt on resumes and at the hardware store for a discount.

To go to war with Satan- vs. 15

In Messianic era, sign healing- This is not for the Church era.

Vs. 16- 19- The twelve

Why twelve?

12 tribes of Israel.

12 sons of Ishmael.

12 commandments- ten plus Jesus' two- Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and thy neighbor as thyself.

12 stones to an altar- Ex. 24:4

12 stones on the ephod- Ex. 28

12 loaves of showbread- Lev. 24

12 lions at Solomon's throne- I Kings 10

12 years Nehemiah served as governor in Israel- Neh. 5

12 baskets of leftovers at feeding of 5000- Matt. 14:20

12 thrones in the coming Messianic Kingdom- Matt. 19:28

Who's the 12th since Judas died?  Ans. Paul whom Jesus chose to replace Judas.

12 thousand from each tribe of Israel chosen to start Kingdom-  Rev. 7:5

12 gates to the city of heaven- Rev. 21:12

12 kinds of fruit on the trees in heaven- Rev. 22:2

Vs. 20-21- Jesus delighted in being in the middle of an eager mob.

How do we compare? Our custom is to demand elbow room.

ILL. Compare Americans sitting in church-- with Africans.  Africans will crowd into one pew in church to get as tight as possible and as close to the front as possible.  I once preached in a church in Michigan where the people didn't sit in the first 6 rows.  They flatly refused.  The attitude of space and distance of American saints is part of the coldness we see in the Laodicean Age.  I visited another church where the older children fought to get the first row so they could be near their pastor.  That is so rare today.  Youth often try to sit as far back as possible because they are rebels, and their leaders and fathers are too wimpy to deal with real problems.

"Beside Himself"-- Can friends judge incorrectly yet with good intentions?

Cf. Matt. 16:21-23-- Peter had very good intentions and spoke the very words of Satan.

Apply to us?

3. Condemnation of Christ- Vs. 22-30

Vs. 22- Jesus accused of serving Satan.

Here, the devils servants are accusing God of serving the devil.

Evil men know all the right lines to deceive the listeners.

Vs. 23-26 How can Satan cast out Satan? Some lessons in this teaching...

a. Satan is finite.

Can a man pick himself up and throw himself out the door?

Ans. NO. Nor can Satan destroy the spiritual world.

b. Satan and his devils are eternal (future) and independent.

They are rebels, but they still reflect the order of their creation.

They want to survive, and they can't commit spiritual suicide.

c. Satan will not divide his kingdom.

Satan wants to rule, not be ruled.

CF Ephesians 2:2, Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

Question: What is his kingdom? Ans. The world. He will not destroy his base of power.

Vs. 27- Satan will not spoil his house.

For the time being, Christ has not chosen to "spoil" Satan's house, the world.

CF Revelation 20:1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.

2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,

3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

Until this future date, Satan rules everything in the earth except the saints.

CF Luke 4:5 And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.

6 And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. Jesus did not question this claim.

That is why "all hell breaks loose" when the saints exit in the rapture.

Do you realize who you are?

You are the presence God The Holy Spirit uses to restrain Satan.

Exception- Psalms 34:7 The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them. Do angels stop evil in general? Not likely. Evil prevails.

You are expected to do battle against the "strong man" and win- save souls!

CF II Corinthians 10:4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)

CF- I John 5:4

Vs. 28-30 Attributing Satanic power to Christ in place of the Holy

Spirit's power is blasphemy.

Charismatics love this verse.

It does not apply where saints examine saints and find Satan at work in saints.

CF - Ephesians 5:5-11;  I John 4:1-3 and 6


4. The Family of Christ 31-35

a. First, Jesus had brothers (31-32)

Cf- Mark 6:3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.

Discuss RC doctrine of Mary, "ever virgin."

b. Second, Joseph is missing.

Last mention is when Jesus was 12 and visited Jerusalem.

Was he a saint?

Did he abandon the home?

Did he die long before Jesus grew up?

Not uncommon in that day.

We don"t know.

c. Third, Mary did not always know God's will.

Cf. Lk. 2:42-50- Mary did not understand Jesus' priorities.

This is the real Mary.

R.C. Mary knows the mind of God. Is nearly God.

S.Am bishops- She "is a full participant in the Godhead."

Cf. John 2:1-5- Mary clearly was out of time with the Godhead.

Her instructions to the servants show her uncertainty in the moment.

Here, (31) she called Him away from His ministry.

There comes a point when the man of God has to answer a higher authority than his mother of father.

Cf. Acts 1:12-14- Mary was never consulted by the Apostles in decision making.

Why? Ans- She had no special insight.

The Holy Spirit came only to the Apostles as predicted by Jesus.

d. Mary had no special place in the early church. Nor Jesus brothers or sisters.

Thus, there was not a royal family.

Vs. 33-35- Jesus tells who His family is.

Cf. I Peter 2:9- Here is the Royal Family- that is, the Church or Body of Christ.

Cf. Eph. 3:14-15- It is a very large family- More than one dispensation.

What is the condition of being in His family?

Ans. (35) Do the will of the Father.

Cf. I Tim. 2:3-4; II Peter 3:9.

e. Important point- Jesus did not become bitter at humanity because of the Scribes and Pharisees who attacked Him all the time.

Here, a very tender moment follows a most vicious attack.

Cf. Jer. 18:18-21- Jeremiah seems to be quite vengeful. Is this right?

Cf. I Thessalonians 5:15- This is what we wee in Jesus.

Tenderness survives.

Application: How should we then live. Discuss mother & family.

Loyalties.