Apostles - Mark 3:13-15

Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on Mark 3:13-35

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Apostles - Mark 3:13-15

Apostles were those who were sent in the authority of the sender. Jesus sent the twelve to help him in his ministry of preaching and healing. The mention that the apostles were both to be with Jesus to be trained by him, and were to be sent out to minister on his behalf is a reinforcing of the pattern that was first mentioned in 1:17. The number twelve represented the twelve tribes of Israel. (See Luke 22:29, 30.)

Names of the Twelve - Mark 3:16-19

The list of the names of the 12 are largely the same as found in other New Testament lists in Matt. 10:2-4; Luke 6:13-16 and Acts 1:13.

Sons of Thunder - Mark 3:17

Jesus' nickname for James and John (Sons of Thunder) is mentioned only here in the New Testament and is most likely a reference to their hot tempers (9:38; 10:35-39; Luke 9:54).

Zealots - Mark 3:18

Thaddaeus is also listed in Matt. 10:3 and is probably to be identified with Judas the son of James in Luke 6:16 and Acts 1:13.Simon the Zealot was a part of a group within Judaism called the Zealots that was opposed to Roman rule and were willing to resist violently.

Iscariot - Mark 3:19

Iscariot probably indicates that Judas was from the village of Karioth, in Judea.

Attempts to identify the Messiah - Mark 3:20-35

These stories show how people continued to struggle to understand who Jesus was, how he could do the miraculous things he did, and how he could say the amazing things he said.

Home - Mark 3:20

Home is probably a reference to Capernaum, not Nazareth. See the note on 2:1.

His family - Mark 3:21

Some of Jesus' own family members couldn't believe what they were seeing and hearing. Their only explanation was that he is out of his mind. He was insane.

Beelzabul - Mark 3:22

The scribes who came all the way to Galilee from Jerusalem had another explanation. Beelzebul was another name for Satan. It seems to have come from an ancient name for the Canaanite god Baal. The scribes couldn't deny Jesus' power so they tried to explain it away. They claimed that he did all these things by the power of Satan. Mark seems to have reported this incident between the two halves of the account of Jesus and his family to make the point that his family was no closer to understanding who he was than the hostile Jewish leadership.

Parables - Mark 3:23-25

The Greek word that is translated parables was used to denote a wide range of figures of speech, from short sayings to long stories. Here it refers to a pair of comparisons that Jesus made: a house and a kingdom. Jesus pointed out the foolishness of the claim of the scribes. It was senseless to say that Jesus was casting out demons because he was Satan himself.

Jesus is more powerful - Mark 3:27

Satan was indeed powerful. Jesus was more powerful. The only person who could accomplish the task of tying up the strong man was Jesus. Jesus then began to plunder Satan's house.

Truly - Mark 3:28

Truly is a word that Mark reported Jesus using 13 times to stress the importance or truth of what he was about to say.

Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit - Mark 3:29

Whoever blasphemes will never be forgiven for their blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. In this context Jesus focused on the sin of the scribes who claimed that he cast out demons by Satan's power. The scribes should have known better. They had seen God's power. They refused to believe. In fact, Jesus cast out demons by the power of the Holy Spirit. Their sin was knowing, deliberate, and grew out of an evil heart. For such sin there is no forgiveness.

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