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A Study of the Gospel of Mark

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Mark 3   [KJV]

1And he entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand. 2And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him.
Q1. Verse 2: The phrase "Some of them" refers to who?
Q2. Verse 2: Why were the Jewish religious leaders concerned about Jesus healing people on the Sabbath?

Exodus 20:9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: (10) But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: (11) For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

Exodus 31:14 Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. (15) Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. (16) Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.

Q3. Were the Jewish leaders jealous of Jesus? How do you think Jesus' popularity compared to that of the Jewish leaders? Were they concerned about other factors in Jesus' life and ministry (that they did not understand or were not willing to understand)?

3And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand, Stand forth. 4And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace.
Q4. Verse 3: Why do you think Jesus asked the "shriveled hand" man to stand up?
Q5. Verse 4: "But they remained silent"; who is "they"?
Q6.: Verse 4: What was Jesus trying to emphasize/elicit with His question?

5And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other.
Q7. Why was Jesus angry and distressed?
Q8. If their hearts had not been "stubborn", what do you think they would have really seen or felt?

Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Jeremiah 23:5 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.

Micah 5:2 But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

Q9. Traditionally, the Jews were expecting a military leader. What do words and phrases like "government shall be upon his shoulder" or "King" or "ruler in Israel" mean to you?

John 14:9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father? (10) Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. (11) Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake. (12) Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. (13) And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. (14) If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.

Q10. Why didn't Jesus just explain to them who He really was?
Q11. If the Pharisees had a "hardness of their hearts" (verse 5), what kind of heart did the disciples have? What kind of heart do you have?

Matthew 16:13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? (14) And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. (15) He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? (16) And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. (17) And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

Q12. How did Simon Peter know who Jesus really was?

6And the Pharisees went forth, and straightway took counsel with the Herodians against him, how they might destroy him.
Q13. Who are the Herodians?

NOTE: Herodians: A party twice mentioned in the Gospels (Matt 22.16 parallel Mark 12.13; Mark 3.6) as acting with the Pharisees in opposition to Jesus. They were not a religious sect, but, as the name implies, a court or political party, supporters of the dynasty of Herod. Nothing is known of them beyond what the Gospels state. Whatever their political aims, they early perceived that Christ's pure and spiritual teaching on the kingdom of God was irreconcilable with these, and that Christ's influence with the people was antagonistic to their interests. [Source: International Standard Bible Encyclopedia]

Q14. Was it normal (or strange) for the Jewish religious leaders (Pharisees) to enter into an alliance with a party aligned with the Roman government? Why?

Crowds Follow Jesus

7But Jesus withdrew himself with his disciples to the sea: and a great multitude from Galilee followed him, and from Judaea,
Q15. Why do you think Jesus was searching for an isolated place (assumed from the use of the word "withdrew"?

8And from Jerusalem, and from Idumaea, and from beyond Jordan; and they about Tyre and Sidon, a great multitude, when they had heard what great things he did, came unto him.
Q16. Why were people seeking Jesus? Were they seeking His Gospel message? Were they seeking the power and purity of the man Jesus? Were they seeking what He could do for them?

9And he spake to his disciples, that a small ship should wait on him because of the multitude, lest they should throng him.
Q17. Why did Jesus want a small boat ready?

10For he had healed many; insomuch that they pressed upon him for to touch him, as many as had plagues. 11And unclean spirits, when they saw him, fell down before him, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of God. 12And he straitly charged them that they should not make him known.
Q18. Verse 11: Do find anything remarkable in this verse?
Q19. Verse 12: Why did Jesus command the evil spirits to be silent about who He was? Wasn't it a good thing to have His divine nature revealed?

The Appointing of the Twelve Apostles

13And he goeth up into a mountain, and calleth unto him whom he would: and they came unto him.
Q20. Why did Jesus select a "mountain" for his meeting location?

14And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach, 15And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils:
Q21. What is the significance of "twelve"? Why not 7? Or 40?

Exodus 39:14 And the stones were according to the names of the children of Israel, twelve, according to their names, like the engravings of a signet, every one with his name, according to the twelve tribes.

NOTE: "Apostle" means authorized representative or messenger. These people represented diverse backgrounds. These men obeyed Jesus. We are to see the lack of religious education in these twelve ordinary workmen. If God can use their obedience to start a flame that has grown over 2,000 years and has never been extinguished, what can He do with our added obedience? (Of the twelve, we know that five were common fishermen and one was an accountant or tax collector.)

Q22. What were the apostles to do and what power were they to have?

16And Simon he surnamed Peter; 17And James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James; and he surnamed them Boanerges, which is, The sons of thunder: 18And Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Canaanite, 19And Judas Iscariot, which also betrayed him: and they went into an house.
Q23. If Jesus was who He said He was, "the Son of God", why did He select Judas Iscariot as one of His apostles?

Jesus and Beelzebub

20And the multitude cometh together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread.
Q24. The crush of people was so great, that they could not even eat. Do you think the crowd was well-behaved? Was it noisy? Do you people were shouting for the Lord's attention?
Q25. If you had an urgent health concern and swarms of people were between you and the medical specialist, how would get the attention of the one person who could solve your problem?

21And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself.
Q26. Whose "family" does "his family" reference?
Q27. Why do you think the family thought that he was "out of his mind"?
Q28. If your brother thought that he was THE "Son of God", how would you react?
(Jump down to verse 31 to continue the discussion about Jesus' family).

22And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth he out devils.
Q29. Who / what does "Beelzebub" reference?
Q30. The learned, Jewish teachers were accusing Jesus of being evil and of performing evil acts. Does it make logical sense that Satan would drive his evil demonic spirits out of host-people? Or does it make more sense that Satan would want to find suitable, hospitable host-people for his followers?
Q31. Why do you think "teachers of the law" accused Jesus of being evil and driving out evil?

23aAnd he called them unto him, and said unto them in parables,
Q32. Why did Jesus speak to them in parables? Why didn't he just tell it like it is?
Q33. Do you find parables hard to understand?
Q34. How can we improve our understanding of Jesus' truths?

23bHow can Satan cast out Satan? 24And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand. 26And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end.
Q35. What generally happens to a family when it is wrenched by "civil war" and sister fights sister, a brother can't stand another brother, a son cannot forgive his father, or a daughter-in-law is slighted by her husband's mother? Is the family as strong as it was when whole?
Q36. Would Satan want to drive out ("cast out") Satan?

27No man can enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house.
Q37. What is Mark saying in this verse?

28Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme:
Q38. This is a marvelous promise. How are "all sins... and blasphemies" forgiven? Do we have to do anything?
Q39. Is this free? Do we have to tithe? Do we have to do some special deed? Or say something special?

29But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation.
Q40. Define the word "blasphemy"?

NOTE: Blasphemy against the Holy Ghost (Matt. 12:31, 32; Mark 3:28, 29; Luke 12:10) is regarded by some as a continued and obstinate rejection of the gospel, and hence is an unpardonable sin, simply because as long as a sinner remains in unbelief he voluntarily excludes himself from pardon. Others regard the expression as designating the sin of attributing to the power of Satan those miracles, which Christ performed, or generally those works which are the result of the Spirit's agency. (Source: The Bible Library and The Bible Library CD-ROM Copyright 1988,1998 by Ellis Enterprises, Inc.)

Q41. Will God eventually turn away from an unbeliever? Or do you think that His arms are always open?
Q42. If we continually pray for someone's salvation, do you think that it makes a difference to God?

30Because they said, He hath an unclean spirit.
Q43. Why do you think the "teachers" continued repeating this accusation "He has an unclean (evil) spirit"?
Q44. If they repeated it often enough, would the people finally begin to believe the evil accusation as truth?

Jesus' Mother and Brothers

31There came then his brethren and his mother, and, standing without, sent unto him, calling him. 32And the multitude sat about him, and they said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee.
Q45. Why do you think Mary came, too?
Q46. What do you think Mary was thinking / wondering?
Q47. What stories / accusations do you think the family heard?

33And he answered them, saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren? 34And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! 35For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.
Q48. Jesus called those sitting around Him His "brother and sister and mother". What was He saying to the crowd?
Q49. If you were one of His stepbrothers or stepsisters, what would you be thinking when you heard what He said to the crowd?

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