Mark – Who are my brothers?
Read Mark 3:13-35
The paragraph of verses 13-19 tells of the people our Lord called to be his apostles. This happened on a mountainside (where the Sermon on the Mount was preached?) – it was done publicly, not in secret. Not all of the original manuscripts of the Greek text includes the phrase “designating them apostles” (verse 14), but the most reliable ones do.
All apostles are disciples, but not all disciples are apostles. “The Twelve” became know as the smaller group of disciples who would continue the work of Christ in the first few years after Jesus ascended to heaven.
1. Read Mark 3:14. What were the apostles called for?
2. Who was mentioned last in the last. Why? Was he the black sheep?
The narrative then takes us to a scene at a house. Jesus and his disciples had come some distance, were hungry from their travels, and would like to have eaten something. The crowd made this impossible.
Matthew (9:32-34) and Luke (11:14-15) mentions how Jesus healed demon-possessed people. They accused Him of healing people by the power of the prince of demons, Beelzebub. This could be the reason why many gathered at the house. Then some close relatives appears on the scene. Their intention was to forcibly (in Greek: to exercise power with force) remove him from the scene.
3. Read Mark 3:21. What did they think of Jesus? Was He their black sheep?
4. Read John 7:1-5. Discuss: “Faith makes all the difference.” (Think: before faith, and after faith)
5. Read Mark 3:22. The teachers of the law had another take. How did they sum up the situation?
Can Satan drive out Satan? Can Satan oppose himself? A house divided cannot stand. Christ cannot be Satan, and those who say so commit the unforgivable sin.
6. Read Mark 3:27. What do you think this verse is telling us about Jesus?
The news of what had happened reached the mother and brothers of our Lord.
7. Read Mark 3:31. Why do you think they were they standing outside. And why did they send someone to call Jesus?
8. Read Mark 3:33 and 34. Who are the real family of Jesus?
9. Read Matthew 7:21-23. Is Jesus referring to his real “family” in these verses? Why?
Up to this point in our study we have learned:
- Who Jesus really is: the Son of God
- That He came to destroy the power of Satan
- That He preached the Word with the authority He received from the Father
- That He has the authority to forgive sins, because He is God
- That He came to show mercy and love to sinners and so fulfilled the Law
- That He calls sinners to do his will: some to a special office, others do be his disciples.
- Those who do the will of the Father are the real family of Christ.
Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit
The Pharisees had long observed the sinless Jesus Christ. They observed Him doing undeniable and powerful miracles that were, at the very least, clear evidence of power supplied by God. These impressive miracles were freely given in pure kindness and love to release people from obvious suffering and the oppression of horrible evil.
However, the Pharisees had so firmly set their hearts against accepting Jesus as the Messiah that they rejected the obvious truth before them and perversely twisted it to influence the crowds. They publicly credited the most ultimately evil being in the universe with these precious, godly miracles. In other words, they called the precious and holy Spirit of God, the unclean spirit of Satan. In effect, they charged Jesus Christ with sorcery; one who is in league with Satan. These charges are not only appalling and extremely serious, but clearly absurd. Thus, speaking against the Holy Spirit is equivalent to rejecting Christ with such finality that no future repentance is possible.
The situation was similar in city of Capernaum, where Jesus Christ performed an extraordinary number of miracles and taught many important public lessons. In the end, most of the people of Capernaum remained unrepentant. Like the Pharisees, they persistently rejected the convicting ministry of the Holy Spirit who bore witness to the true identity of Jesus Christ, their Messiah. They turned away from the abundant light graciously provided to them, and chose to remain forever in their unbelief. They persistently refused to listen to anything the Holy Spirit was telling them. Like the Pharisees, they chose self-imposed blindness. For this reason, they were strongly judged. Capernaum received a very stern warning from Jesus, “It shall be more bearable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for you” (Matt. 11:21-24).
It is clear that anyone who believes he or she has committed “the unforgivable sin” could not have done so; a troubled conscience and that kind of sin could never coexist. The fact that a person feels remorse proves that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit has not yet been committed.