Mark 3 Bible Commentary

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

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(Read all of Mark 3)

Verse 2

[2] 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.

Verse 4

[4] 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.

Verse 5

[5] 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.

Verse 6

[6] 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.

Verse 8

[8] 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.

Verse 10

[10] 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.

Verse 12

[12] 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.

Verse 13

[13] 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

Verse 14

[14] And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach,

Matthew 10:2; Luke 6:13; Acts 1:13.

Verse 16

[16] 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.

Verse 20

[20] 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.

Verse 21

[21] 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.

Verse 22

[22] 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.

Verse 28

[28] Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme:

Matthew 12:31; Luke 12:10.

Verse 30

[30] 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?"

Verse 31

[31] 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.

Verse 34

[34] 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.

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