GOSPEL OF MARK - CHAPTER 3 - The Religious/Political Spirit

MARK – CHAPTER 3 – The Religious/Political Spirit


NOVEMBER 8, 2022, the Year of Our Lord

Pastor Carolyn Sissom

Mark 3: 1—6: (Jesus) entered the synagogue again, and a man was there who had a withered hand. They watched Him closely, whether He would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse Him. He said to the man who had the withered hand, “Step forward.” Then he said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” but they kept silent. He looked around at them with anger, being grieved by the hardness of their hearts, He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored as whole as the other. The Pharisees went out and immediately plotted with the Herodians against Him, how they might destroy Him.

The word for “anger” is “orge” and means wrath, vengeance, indignation.

Some commentators attempt to explain this away. I will not.

Romans 1:18: For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness.

When Jesus told the Pharisees in 2:28 that he was Lord of the Sabbath, he made it abundantly clear he was deliberately rebuking the Sabbath regulations which had been imposed by the Jewish elders on the Law of Moses.

So, here is a direct confrontation by Jesus Christ, the Lord of the Sabbath, with the religious rules of the Pharisees of which they had incorporated into their religion.

He had demonstrated many times, that he had the power to heal and deliver people from demons. They were watching him as to whether he would heal someone again on the Sabbath.

If Christ had complied with them to keep the peace, then He would have failed to stand as the Christ, the Son of the Living God, who is Lord of the Sabbath.

He stated emphatically that to not heal the man would of itself be a ‘work’ just as much as to cure him, and an evil work at that. The Pharisees missed God that day. It is a sad day when people are faced with the Glory and Power of God and denounce it as evil. Their hearts were hardened with stubbornness and were unteachable. When Jesus healed the man, the Pharisees resolved to have him put to death. They consorted with the Herodians, the supporters of Herod Antipas, who feared political unrest might result from Jesus’ actions.

We are still dealing with this spirit today. When religious leaders tell Christians today to not confront the evil because it may cause trouble, it is the spirit of the Pharisees.

The opposition to Jesus of the Jewish leaders was more than offset by His acclamation by the people.

Mark 3: 7-12: Jesus withdrew with His disciples to the sea. A great multitude from Galilee followed Him, from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, beyond the Jordan, and those from Tyre and Sidon. A great multitude came to Him when they heard how many things he was doing. He told His disciples that a small boat should be kept ready for Him because of the multitude, lest they should crush Him. For he healed many, so that as many as had plagues pressed about to touch Him. The unclean spirits, whenever they saw Him, fell down before Him and cried out saying, “You are the Son of God.” But he sternly warned them that they should not make Him known.

There were terrible plagues which were destroying the people. As in 1:34, Jesus sternly warned the demons not to make Him known. He healed many. Devils were conquered. He was not looking to make a name for Himself. Quite the contrary, all wise men and women of God, know that Kingdom-work is done in prayer and communion with the Lord and His Word.

Mark 3: 13-18: He went up on the mountain and called to Him those he Himself wanted. They came to him. He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach; and to have power to heal sicknesses and to cast out demons. Simon, to whom He gave the name Peter; James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James, to whom He gave the name Bo-a-ner-ges, that is, “Sons of Thunder;” Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Canaanite; and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him. They went into a house.

In our study of Acts, I did an in-depth teaching on the twelve apostles. We wish we knew more about all of them. But, knowing human nature, if we knew more, people would worship them. I will defer from saying that “Sons of Thunder” was given to John and James because of their quick-temper. Divinely given names are always bestowed with reference to some commendable characteristic.

Thaddaeus is considered to be Jude and the writer of the book of Jude, Judas the son of James (Acts 1:13). His name means “large hearted, and courageous. In Matthew 10:3, he is called Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus. Simon the Canaanite is the most obscure of the apostles. He is also referred to as Simon the Zealot in Acts 1:13 and Luke 6:15. He was with the other apostles in the Upper Room after Jesus ascended to heaven.

Jesus still calls and chooses.

It is not as we would understand, but his good pleasure. Christ calls whom he will, and they were willing to come. He ordained them that they should be with Him. Christ’s ministers must spend much time with Him. Our Lord Jesus had and has life in himself, and the Spirit without measure. He gives this power even to the weak and foolish things of the world. That includes me.

Mark 3:20-27: The multitude came together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread. But when His own people heard about this, they went out to lay hold of Him, for they said, “He is out of His mind.” The scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, “He has Beelzebub,” and “by the ruler of the demons, He casts out demons.” He called them to Himself and said to them in parables: “How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. If Satan has risen up against himself, and is divided, he cannot stand, but has an end. No one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. Then will plunder his house."

Jesus has now returned to Capernaum. His family, his mother and brothers, and friends (KJV), regarded this as madness, and so set out from Nazareth to try to restrain Him from continuing His ministry. Jesus’ brothers were unbelieving (Jn. 7:5). This is part of the cost of ministry, the separation of family and friends. In my case, the Lord restored my family and some of my friends to me. However, even with my family, their first reaction was that I had lost my mind. There were seven separations of Abraham. This is the template for ministry. I can testify that I experienced all seven of the separations. I am persuaded God’s ministers will experience all seven separations:

1. Country

2. Kindred (natural and spiritual family).

3. Egypt (the world system and all that is in it.

4. Lot (the carnal ones who walk with us).

5. A desire to get wealth

6. Ishmael – Product of the flesh – man made attempt to bring forth the promise of God.

7. Isaac – the ultimate test. The Promise has become a reality. Do we love the promise more than the God of the promise.

The scribes came down from Jerusalem. They were sent to put an end to the ministry of Jesus. I have experienced churches who have trained leaders who are sent forth to close down those who are moving by the Holy Spirit.

Beelzebub: First mentioned in 2 Kings 1:2, as Baalzebub, the god of Ekron, referring to Baal, the prince of the demons (Mt. 12:24). Jesus identifies him in this controversy as Satan. We are studying about Baal on Sunday evening and its invasion into the United States government, culture, schools and churches. This demon holds a high seat in hell’s hierarchy. Its name means “lord of the flies” or “lord of the flyers”. It is the demon of apostasy, global warming, lusts, lord of the high places, etc.

Jesus asks these scribes as to why Satan who was the cause of demon-possession would cast out himself.

Mat. 12:27: If, I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? Therefore, they shall be your judges.

Jesus identifies Himself with the strong man. The correct explanation of His exorcisms, was that He Himself, being endued with the power of God, was stronger than Satan, and that having bound Satan, he was able now to rob his house. Jesus adds that since the Holy Spirit was God’s Agent in effecting these exorcisms, to attribute them to Satan was to blaspheme against the Holy Spirit, which was an eternal sin, in that it carried eternal consequences.

Mark 3:28-30: Assuredly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation---because they said, “He has an unclean spirit.

Mark 3: 31-35: His brothers and His mother came; and standing outside they sent to Him, calling Him. A multitude was sitting around Him, and they said to Him, “Look Your mother and Your brothers are outside seeking You.” He answered them, saying, “Who is My mother, or My brothers?” he looked around in a circle at those who sat about Him, and said, “here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of God is My brother and My sister and mother.”

As we know, on the cross, Jesus took care that his mother was placed in the care of John. It is not disrespect intended here, but a clear announcement to his family, friends and to the multitude that as a man, he is standing in His ministry under Divine appointment and authority.

Carolyn Sissom, Pastor Eastgate Ministries Church, 10115 West Hidden Lakes Lane, Richmond, TX



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