Mark 3 observations:
3:1-6 — Jesus is engaged in a struggle with the Pharisees that will be ongoing, they were forever scrutinizing Jesus. Jesus’ ministry didn’t fit their preconceived ideas of what ministry should look like. The Pharisees were focused on rules and the externals of religion. A + B = C. Jesus comes along and now all of a sudden their God equation was changing, Jesus was more A + x = 1000x/2 (I don’t know I hate math). The Pharisees were all about guarding ritual purity and Jesus is playing by a different set of rules altogether.
The Pharisees were so frustrated with Jesus they wanted to kill him. How often do we mimic this same sentiment we squash some momentous thing of God because it didn’t fit a preconceived idea of what God should do?!
Jesus was more concerned with what was right, more concerned with people, with wholeness and holiness and thereby instead of guarding the purity of God, Jesus contaminates the world with God’s holiness!!
Jesus told the man with the shriveled hand to stretch his hand out. I wonder if this is an intentional reference or allusion back to Moses. Moses was told God to stretch out your hand and then something miraculous followed suit. Remember in Mark 2 the question is asked, “who can forgive sins, but God?” Mark is intentionally portraying Jesus is God. Jesus has the man stretch out his hand, and this time instead of water being parted, disease is separated from the man’s hand.
Jesus always seems to draw a crowd. Whether it is the sin-sick, the curious, the critical, or the committed. Again in this section we are reintroduced to the messianic secret, and ongoing theme in Mark’s gospel. In this text, a question I have is are demon’s more obedient than I am? The spiritual forces of darkness recognize who Jesus is and they do what he commands. How come I do not always heed his voice?
Jesus goes up a mountainside calls to him those he wanted and had a specific plan and purpose for them. Note especially, the wording. He calls those he wants to be with him. Being an apostle in Mark’s gospel is related to the proximity of one is with Jesus and with confronting Satan (driving out demons and continuing to reclaim lost territory and to proclaim the arrival of the kingdom of God)
This is the story or parable of the strong man. Look at the story here, Satan is described as a strong man, as a plunderer of property. But, notice while it isn’t stated in the text, I ask you to think about who the “stronger one,” that Jesus mentions that comes and ties up this strong man. The stronger one is Jesus, and he has come to rob Satan or re-possess that which has been stolen from God.
I love 3:28, “all the sins and blasphemies of men will be forgiven.” My failures this past week are taken care of. While I am not free to live however I please, I can rest assured that Jesus is stronger than the forces of darkness that rage within me. He is able, and will deliver me, us, from the temptations that plague us, and the sin that ensnares!
I close with this, who is Jesus family? Those who do God’s will.