The Way - Day 094 (Mark 3)

Daily Reading:
Mark 3
Don't forget to journal in your Foundations Book!
Daily Reading Audio Commentary:
Today's Question or Action Step:
What does Jesus mean when he says, "Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother"?  How can you apply this to your relationships in the world and within the church?  How important is the word "Whoever" in his statement and what does it mean to you?
Weekly Memory Verse(s):
OPTION 1: Psalm 32:1
OPTION 2: Proverbs 14:26-27
OPTION 3: Matthew 5:38-39
Further Study Resources:
Study Guide for Mark 3 (Enduring Word - David Guzik)
Pastor Tom's Journal on Today's Reading:
Mark 3
Mark documents the Pharisees' controversy over Jesus healing a man on the Sabbath (Mark 3:1-5). Jesus' response is simple, yet profound: "Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?" Jesus was pointing out the heart of the matter. The Pharisees were more concerned with rules than the well-being of people. May we never create rules which God did not clearly outline in His word. If God has clearly defined a command, we should obey it with our whole heart because we love Him. Where God has been silent, may we grant freedom for the leading of the Holy Spirit to guide us into truth. We should never judge someone else's spirituality based on a man-made list of rules, but only on the basis of what God has clearly revealed. On the other hand, may we not worship the freedom we have in Christ more than worshipping Him.

After this encounter with the Pharisees they began plotting how they could destroy Jesus (3:6). Jesus withdrew Himself to the Sea of Galilee and continued His ministry of healing and preaching (3:7-12). He refused to be limited by the rules of the Pharisees. May we conduct our lives in obedience to God's ways and refuse to allow man to create our system of worship.

Mark 3:13-35
Within these verses there are several story lines happening. First of all, Mark records Jesus' selection of His twelve apostles (3:13-19). These were "appointed...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" (3:14-15). The twelve were Jesus' closest followers and in reality the future foundation of the church. Luke adds that Jesus "continued all night in prayer to God. And when it was day, He called His disciples to Himself; and from them He chose twelve whom He named apostles [sent ones]..." (Luke 6:12-13). There were many who were Jesus' disciples, but only twelve became entrusted with representing His ministry and His name.

The next instance Mark records was that the multitudes became so great that Jesus and His apostles could not eat bread. It appears the crowd had received word of Jesus' miracles and they came from all over to receive physical healing. Jesus' family and closest friends became concerned about the popularity of His ministry and the demands it had placed on Him. Mark says that "they went out to lay hold of Him, for they said 'He is out of His mind'" (3:21). His family and friends attempted to rescue Him from the pressures, but Jesus knew He had been called of God to carry out His mission. They did not fully understand His calling.

Mark also details another of Jesus' encounters (3:22-30) with the scribes (interpreters of the Old Testament law). They came down from Jerusalem and accused Jesus of casting out demons using the power of Satan (3:22). This "religious group" believed in their heart that Jesus represented Satan. Jesus responded by asking, "How can Satan cast out Satan?" You think this would be obvious to the scribes. Speaking in a parable, Jesus makes a claim to His power over Satan: "No one can enter a strong man's house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. And then he will plunder his house" (3:27). Jesus was simply saying that it takes someone stronger than Satan to enter his house (the world), bind him (defeat him), and plunder his house (release people from his bondage). Jesus was that man. I'm sure the scribes did not know how to react to this truth, but Jesus' next statement was even more alarming. Jesus says, "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..." (3:28-29). In his study bible, John MacArthur explains Jesus' words. "Those who know His (Jesus') claims are true and reject Him anyway sin against the Holy Spirit because it is the Holy Spirit who testifies of Christ and makes His truth known to us." Unbelief in Jesus Christ is the unpardonable sin He is referring to here. Those who reject the conviction of the Holy Spirit and fail to respond with repentance and faith cannot be forgiven.

Lastly, Mark writes about the new relationship we can have with God. Jesus' earthly family comes calling for Him so others alerted Jesus that His family was looking for Him. He used this situation to teach a lesson. "'Who is My mother, or My brothers?' And 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 My mother" (3:33-35). Those who repented of sin and evidenced faith in Jesus became His family. This spiritual relationship was more powerful than earthly relationships. The fact that Jesus is welcoming people into His family is very comforting. Knowing He cares for us provides the strength to go on each day.

Dear God, thank You for these words. May I apply them to my life in order to become a more devoted follower of You.