Mark Chapter Three
Such was the question raised in the synagogue (chap. 3) on the occasion of the man with the withered hand. The Lord sets it publicly before their conscience; but neither heart nor conscience answered Him; and He acts in His service according to the goodness and rights of God, and heals the man.  The Pharisees and their enemies, the Herodians-for all were against God and united in this-consult together how they might destroy Christ. Jesus departs to the sea-coast of the sea of Tiberias. There the multitude follow Him, because of all that He had done; so that He is obliged to have a boat, that He may be outside the crowd. Spirits are subject to Him, compelled to own that He is the Son of God; but He forbids them to make Him known.
Service in preaching, and in seeking souls, in devoting Himself to all, shewing Himself by His acts to be the possessor of divine power, hiding Himself from the notice of men, in order to fulfil, apart from their applause, the service He had undertaken-such was His human life on earth. Love and divine power were disclosed in the service which that love impelled Him to accomplish, and in the accomplishment of which that power was exercised. But this could not be circumscribed by Judaism, however subject the Lord was to the ordinances of God given to the Jews.
But, God being thus manifested, the carnal opposition of man soon shews itself.  Here, then, the description of Christ's service ends, and its effect is manifested. This effect is developed in that which soon follows, with respect both to the iniquity of man and to the counsels of God. Meanwhile the Lord appoints twelve of His disciples to accompany Him, and to go forth preaching in His name. He could, not merely work miracles but, communicate to others the power to work them, and that by way of authority. He goes back into the house, and the multitude re-assemble. And here the thoughts of man display themselves at the same time as those of God. His friends search for Him as one who was beside Himself. The scribes, possessing influence as learned men, attribute to Satan a power which they could not deny. The Lord answers them by shewing that in general all sin could be pardoned; but that to acknowledge the power, and attribute it to the enemy, rather than own Him who wielded it, was taking the place not of ignorant unbelief but of adversaries, thus blaspheming against the Holy Ghost-was a sin that could never be pardoned. The "strong man" was there; but Jesus was stronger than he, for He cast out the devils. Would Satan endeavour to overthrow his own house? The fact that the power of Jesus manifested itself in this manner left them without excuse. God's "strong man" was then come: Israel rejected Him; and, as regards their leaders, by blaspheming against the Holy Ghost, they brought themselves under hopeless condemnation. The Lord therefore immediately distinguishes the remnant who received His word from all natural connection He had with Israel. His mother or His "brethren" are the disciples who stand around Him, and those who do the will of God. This really sets aside Israel at that time.
 One cannot but see how the old system, based on what man ought to be for God, is being set aside for what God is for man. But, the former having been established by God, nothing but the words and works of Jesus would have justified the Jews in giving it up. As it was, it was clearly opposition and hatred to the full revelation of Him who had ordained the other. Compare John 15:22, 24.
 This is the secret of all the history of Jesus, Son of David. All the promises being in Him for the Jews, the servant of every want too and every sorrow, yet being God and God manifested in Him, man could not bear it. The mind of the flesh is enmity against God.
── John Darby《Synopsis of Mark》
The withered hand healed. (1-5) The people resort to Christ. (6-12) The apostles called. (13-21) The blasphemy of the scribes. (22-30) Christ's relatives. (31-35)
Commentary on Mark 3:1-5
(Read Mark 3:1-5)
This man's case was piteous; he had a withered hand, which disabled him from working for his living; and those that are so, are the most proper objects of charity. Let those be helped that cannot help themselves. But stubborn infidels, when they can say nothing against the truth, yet will not yield. We hear what is said amiss, and see what is done amiss; but Christ looks at the root of bitterness in the heart, the blindness and hardness of that, and is grieved. Let hard-hearted sinners tremble to think of the anger with which he will look upon them shortly, when the day of his wrath comes. The great healing day now is the sabbath, and the healing place the house of prayer; but the healing power is of Christ. The gospel command is like that recorded here: though our hands are withered, yet, if we will not stretch them out, it is our own fault that we are not healed. But if we are healed, Christ, his power and grace, must have all the glory.
Commentary on Mark 3:6-12
(Read Mark 3:6-12)
All our sicknesses and calamities spring from the anger of God against our sins. Their removal, or the making them blessings to us, was purchased to us by the blood of Christ. But the plagues and diseases of our souls, of our hearts, are chiefly to be dreaded; and He can heal them also by a word. May more and more press to Christ to be healed of these plagues, and to be delivered from the enemies of their souls.
Commentary on Mark 3:13-21
(Read Mark 3:13-21)
Christ calls whom he will; for his grace is his own. He had called the apostles to separate themselves from the crowd, and they came unto him. He now gave them power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils. May the Lord send forth more and more of those who have been with him, and have learned of him to preach his gospel, to be instruments in his blessed work. Those whose hearts are enlarged in the work of God, can easily bear with what is inconvenient to themselves, and will rather lose a meal than an opportunity of doing good. Those who go on with zeal in the work of God, must expect hinderances, both from the hatred of enemies, and mistaken affections of friends, and need to guard against both.
Commentary on Mark 3:22-30
(Read Mark 3:22-30)
It was plain that the doctrine of Christ had a direct tendency to break the devil's power; and it was as plain, that casting of him out of the bodies of people, confirmed that doctrine; therefore Satan could not support such a design. Christ gave an awful warning against speaking such dangerous words. It is true the gospel promises, because Christ has purchased, forgiveness for the greatest sins and sinners; but by this sin, they would oppose the gifts of the Holy Ghost after Christ's ascension. Such is the enmity of the heart, that unconverted men pretend believers are doing Satan's work, when sinners are brought to repentance and newness of life.
Commentary on Mark 3:31-35
(Read Mark 3:31-35)
It is a great comfort to all true Christians, that they are dearer to Christ than mother, brother, or sister as such, merely as relations in the flesh would have been, even had they been holy. Blessed be God, this great and gracious privilege is ours even now; for though Christ's bodily presence cannot be enjoyed by us, his spiritual presence is not denied us.
── Matthew Henry《Concise Commentary on Mark》
 And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him.
And they — The scribes and Pharisees, watched him, that they might accuse him - Pride, anger, and shame, after being so often put to silence, began now to ripen into malice.
 And 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.
Is it lawful to save life or to kill? — Which he knew they were seeking occasion to do.
But they held their peace — Being confounded, though not convinced.
 And 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.
Looking round upon them with anger, being grieved — Angry at the sin, grieved at the sinner; the true standard of Christian anger. But who can separate anger at sin from anger at the sinner? None but a true believer in Christ.
 And the Pharisees went forth, and straightway took counsel with the Herodians against him, how they might destroy him.
The Pharisees going out — Probably leaving the scribes to watch him still: took counsel with the Herodians - as bitter as they usually were against each other.
 And 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.
From Idumea — The natives of which had now professed the Jewish religion above a hundred and fifty years.
They about Tyre and Sidon — The Israelites who lived in those coasts.
 For he had healed many; insomuch that they pressed upon him for to touch him, as many as had plagues.
Plagues or scourges (so the Greek word properly means) seem to be those very painful or afflictive disorders which were frequently sent, or at least permitted of God, as a scourge or punishment of sin.
 And he straitly charged them that they should not make him known.
He charged them not to make him known — It was not the time: nor were they fit preachers.
 And he goeth up into a mountain, and calleth unto him whom he would: and they came unto him.
He calleth whom he would — With regard to the eternal states of men, God always acts as just and merciful. But with regard to numberless other things, he seems to us to act as a mere sovereign. Luke 6:12
 And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach,
 And Simon he surnamed Peter;
He surnamed them sons of thunder — Both with respect to the warmth and impetuosity of their spirit, their fervent manner of preaching, and the power of their word.
 And the multitude cometh together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread.
To eat bread — That is, to take any subsistence.
 And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself.
His relations — His mother and his brethren, Mark 3:31. But it was some time before they could come near him.
 And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth he out devils.
The scribes and Pharisees, Matthew 12:22; who had come down from Jerusalem - Purposely on the devil's errand. And not without success. For the common people now began to drink in the poison, from these learned, good, honourable men! He hath Beelzebub - at command, is in league with him: And by the prince of the devils casteth he out devils - How easily may a man of learning elude the strongest proof of a work of God! How readily can he account for every incident without ever taking God into the question. Matthew 12:24; Luke 11:15.
 Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme:
 Because they said, He hath an unclean spirit.
Because they said, He hath an unclean spirit — Is it not astonishing, that men who have ever read these words, should doubt, what is the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost? Can any words declare more plainly, that it is "the ascribing those miracles to the power of the devil which Christ wrought by the power of the Holy Ghost?"
 There came then his brethren and his mother, and, standing without, sent unto him, calling him.
Then come his brethren and his mother — Having at length made their way through the crowd, so as to come to the door. His brethren are here named first, as being first and most earnest in the design of taking him: for neither did these of his brethren believe on him. They sent to him, calling him - They sent one into the house, who called him aloud, by name. Matthew 12:46; Luke 8:19.
 And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!
Looking round on them who sat about him — With the utmost sweetness; He said, Behold my mother and my brethren - In this preference of his true disciples even to the Virgin Mary, considered merely as his mother after the flesh, he not only shows his high and tender affection for them, but seems designedly to guard against those excessive and idolatrous honours, which he foresaw would in after ages be paid to her.
── John Wesley《Explanatory Notes on Mark》
Chapter 3. The Appointment of Apostles
In Name Only
A Cake Not Turned
I. A Man with a Withered Hand
II. Appoint the Twelve
III. All Believers Are Families
── Chih-Hsin Chang《An Outline of The New Testament》