Mark 3:31–35 (ESV)
Jesus’ Mother and Brothers
31 And his mother and his brothers came, and standing outside they sent to him and called him. 32 And a crowd was sitting around him, and they said to him, “Your mother and your
brothers are outside, seeking you.” 33 And he answered them, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” 34 And looking about at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are
my mother and my brothers! 35 For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.”
Loyalty to God
takes precedence over loyalty to blood relations. This is still hard to hear today, as the temptation to put relationships with family and friends above God can be overwhelming. But the Lord wants us to have both relationships, and have them as healthy as
they can be. He stands first in our lives because He placed Himself last, to humbly bear our sins and make us children of God.
I pray: Lord, thank You
for the privilege of being included in Your eternal family. Keep us in this faith and life forever. Amen.
Mark 3:22–30 (ESV)
Blasphemy Against the Holy Spirit
22 And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and “by the prince of demons he casts out the demons.” 23 And he called
them to him and said to them in parables, “How can Satan cast out Satan? 24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 And if a house is divided against itself,
that house will not be able to stand. 26 And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but is coming to an end. 27 But no one can enter a strong man’s house
and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. Then indeed he may plunder his house.
28 “Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the children of man, and
whatever blasphemies they utter, 29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”— 30 for they were saying, “He has
an unclean spirit.”
Those who refuse to recognize Jesus as God’s Son and acknowledge His works as manifestations of the Holy Spirit remain under the
dominion of Satan. But Jesus has overcome Satan. Those baptized into Christ have received not only Him but also His promised Holy Spirit.
I pray: Lord,
preserve us from the power of Satan. Remove any lingering doubts we might harbor, that we might be confident in the fact that You have bound him and rescued us from his dominion. Amen.
Mark 3:13–21 (ESV)
The Twelve Apostles
he went up on the mountain and called to him those whom he desired, and they came to him. 14 And he appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach 15 and
have authority to cast out demons. 16 He appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter); 17 James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James (to whom he gave the name Boanerges,
that is, Sons of Thunder); 18 Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Zealot, 19 and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed
20 Then he went home, and the crowd gathered again, so that they could not even eat. 21 And when his family heard it, they went out to seize
him, for they were saying, “He is out of his mind.”
Even as Jesus seeks to expand His ministry by appointing and sending 12 apostles, His family comes
and tries to make Him stop what He is doing. How ironic that those who think they know Jesus best are trying to stop Him from fulfilling His mission! Unfortunately, similar examples are still seen, as when lifelong Christians undermine sound mission strategies.
But the Lord and His mission are not overcome by even this opposition. Jesus willingly faced death and conquered it for us. In Him is our hope of eternal life.
pray: Lord, overcome our fear when we do not understand Your plans. Focus us instead on Your call to follow and Your gracious promise to lead. Amen.
Mark 3:7–12 (ESV)
A Great Crowd Follows Jesus
withdrew with his disciples to the sea, and a great crowd followed, from Galilee and Judea 8 and Jerusalem and Idumea and from beyond the Jordan and from around Tyre and Sidon. When the great crowd heard all that he was doing,
they came to him. 9 And he told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, lest they crush him, 10 for he had healed many, so that all who had diseases pressed around him
to touch him. 11 And whenever the unclean spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, “You are the Son of God.” 12 And he strictly ordered them not to make him known.
In contrast to the Pharisees’ and Herodians’ hostility, the crowds enthusiastically press around Jesus to listen and be healed. The mixed reaction to Jesus has
not changed over the years. Many still reject Him, while others desperately seek His help. He nonetheless attends to people’s physical and spiritual needs. He continues to bless those who seek Him today.
I pray: Lord, draw us to You, that we might learn from You and be healed by You. Count us among the eager crowds who leave everything else to be near You. Amen.
Mark 3:1–6 (ESV)
A Man with
a Withered Hand
3 Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there with a withered hand. 2 And they
watched Jesus, to see whether he would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse him. 3 And he said to the man with the withered hand, “Come here.” 4 And he said to them,
“Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?” But they were silent. 5 And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, “Stretch
out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. 6 The Pharisees went out and immediately held counsel with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him.
Again, Jesus demonstrates His authority over the Sabbath, this time by restoring a man’s hand. He knows all our burdens and desires
to grant us rest. Call on Him in earnest prayer. When the Lord is for us, none can oppose us!
I pray: Lord, lead us to take Your Word to heart. By Your Holy Spirit, work in us a faith that knows You as the way, the truth, and the life. Amen.