May 28, 2005

Mark 3:19b-35 Sermon Notes

Category: Bible - NT - Mark :: Permalink

Mark 3:19b-35
(February 20, 2005, Sermon Notes)

In Mark’s Gospel, Jesus follows a pattern: He goes to the sea, calls men to follow Him, and then eats with them — and around that time there is an attack. Here, an attack by the scribes is sandwiched between two parts of the story of an attack from Jesus’ relatives.


Normally, Jesus calls men and eats with them. This time, He can’t eat because He is serving the crowds. Jesus’ relatives hear about it and think He is insane. David acted insane to escape from a Gentile king; then he protected his parents. Jesus, the new David, isn’t insane, but His own relatives think He is and they come to take Him into protective custody.

The scribes from Jerusalem have a different explanation: Jesus isn’t insane; He is possessed by Beelzebul. He is casting out demons by the power of the ruler of the demons. They come to protect Israel from this demonic seducer who is leading them astray (Deut. 13).

Jesus responds by showing the foolishness of their charge: If Satan is at war with himself, his kingdom would collapse and he wouldn’t be strong. But Satan is still the strong one. So how can Jesus do what He is doing?

Jesus answer: As Israel plundered the Egyptians at the Exodus (Ex. 12:35-36), as Yahweh promised to take away the captives of the mighty (Isa. 49:25), Jesus is plundering the strong one’s house. Israel has become Satan’s house, but Jesus is setting his captives free.

He can do that because He is the stronger one and He has already bound the strong man. As Israel defeated the Philistines because David defeated Goliath, so Jesus can cast out demons because He has already overcome their ruler, Satan, in the wilderness (Mark 1:13).

Jesus then warns His hearers not to speak against the Holy Spirit. The Son’s ministry will be followed by the Spirit’s ministry through the disciples (Mark 1:8; see Luke 12:9-12). If they reject the Son now, they can still repent and be forgiven. But if they speak against the Spirit after Pentecost, God’s patience will run out and judgment will fall on Israel, Jerusalem, and the Temple from which the scribes come. The application is clear: Repent the first time you’re warned (see Prov. 29:1).


Now Jesus’ family arrives. They stand outside and call Jesus. But Jesus responds in a shocking way. He acts as if they aren’t His family. His relatives are those around Him, those who do God’s will and follow Jesus.

There are insiders and outsiders. If you don’t follow Jesus, you’re left outside, even if you’re His physical mother. If you do follow Jesus, you’re inside, a part of His family, no matter what sins you’ve committed or what your background is. We are Jesus’ brothers and sisters because Jesus’ Father is our Father. Don’t just claim to be His family; act like it.

Posted by John Barach @ 12:45 pm | Discuss (0)

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