Bible Commentaries
Mark 3

People's New TestamentPeople's NT

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SUMMARY.--The Man with the Withered Hand. The Pharisees and Herodians in Council. The Great Physician Healing. The Twelve Apostles Appointed. The Blasphemy of Ascribing His Divine Power to Beelzebub. The Sin That Hath No Forgiveness. Christ's Mother and Brethren.

Verse 1

He entered again into the synagogue. Of Capernaum. Compare Mat 12:9-14; Luk 6:6-11. For fuller notes, see Matthew.

Verse 2

They watched him. The same critics who had found fault in the preceding chapter. There was present a man whose right hand was withered, and they watched to see whether the Lord would heal him on the Sabbath.

Verse 3

Stand forth. He read their thoughts and determined to give prominence to the good work. He would heal him on the Sabbath; heal him in the synagogue, heal him before all.

Verse 4

Is it lawful . . . to save life, or to kill? A home thrust at the fault-finders. They were harboring murderous thoughts; he was seeking to save life. Which was breaking the Sabbath?

Verse 5

Looked on them with anger. Indignation.

Hardness of heart. Shown by their fault finding, evil thoughts, and silence by his questions.

Verse 6

Pharisees. See note on Mat 3:7.

Herodians. See note on Mat 22:16.

Took counsel. Already these inveterate enemies were resolved to destroy Jesus. They took counsel how it might be done. As they went to the partisans of Herod, who ruled in Galilee, they probably sought to persuade them to have Herod put him to death.

Verse 7

Jesus withdrew himself. See fuller notes on the popularity described in Luk 3:7-12 under Mat 12:15-21.

The sea. Of Galilee. Also consult map for the localities named.

Verse 8

Idumæa. More anciently called Edom. Southeast of the Jordan, and south of the Dead Sea. That country was occupied by the descendants of Esau. Herod the Great was, on his father's side, an Idumæan.

Tyre and Sidon. See note on Mat 11:21.

Verse 9

A small ship. A fishing boat. The Revision correctly renders the term by the word boat.

Verse 11

Unclean spirits. See note on Mat 8:28.

Verse 13

Goeth up into a mountain. Compare Mat 10:1-4, and Luk 6:12-16. The selection of the apostles occurred before the Sermon on the Mount (Luk 6:13). Matthew gives it out of order. See notes on Mat 10:1-4.

Verse 14

Ordained twelve, that they should be with him. They were to attend him into order to be specially prepared to preach Christ.

Verse 16

Simon he surnamed Peter. He did this previously (Joh 1:42).

Verse 17

Boanerges. Why this title was bestowed on James and John we are not told. Possibly from their power as preachers.

Verse 19

They went into a house. On the return to Capernaum.

Verse 20

Could not so much as eat. The multitudes were so eager to hear, or be healed, and Jesus so ready to bless them, that there was no time for meals.

Verse 21

His friends. Probably his relatives. See Mar 3:31. His brethren were not yet counted among his disciples.

He is beside himself. Carried away by an unwise enthusiasm.

Verse 22

The scribes . . . said. For notes on the charge of the scribes, Beelzebub, and the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, see Mat. 12:22-37. Compare Luk 11:14-23.

From Jerusalem. The men who were leaders in this effort to destroy the influence of Jesus were a delegation from the very religious bodies at Jerusalem that finally sent him to death.

Verse 30

Because they said he had an unclean spirit. This was a sin against the Holy Spirit because Jesus did mighty works in the power of the Holy Spirit, and they ascribed the power to an unclean spirit.

Verse 31

Then came his brethren and his mother. See notes on Mat 12:46-50. Compare Luk 8:19. The natural inference is that the "brethren" were the sons of Mary and the half-brothers of Jesus. No other idea would ever have been maintained had it not been that the doctrine of the perpetual virginity of Mary arose some centuries after the apostles.

Bibliographical Information
Johnson, Barton W. "Commentary on Mark 3". "People's New Testament". 1891.