Class Notes: 8/21/2013
Mark 3:7-30; Jesus continues His mission in the face of the Pharisees' opposition
In our study of Mark we are in Mark 3:7-10; where we see Jesus being followed by crowds everywhere He goes.
The crowds were so dense as they gathered around Jesus where He stood on the narrow beach that He told his disciples to have a fishing boat ready to be anchored offshore for Him to use as a pulpit and get away from the press of the crowd.
He healed everyone in the crowd that was sick, and that was the message He sent back to the Pharisees who had rejected him. Look: the one who is here is the God-Man, the unique person of the universe, undiminished deity and true humanity in one person forever, the only saviour, the only way of salvation who is fulfilling all of the prophesies.
Mark 3:11-12; Whenever the demons saw Him they would bow to him and shout "You are the Son of God" but he charged them not to tell who He was.
The word translated "charged" or "warned" is the imperfect active indicative of the Greek word "epitima" that means he kept on warning them or sternly commanding or ordering them not to reveal His identity.
He didn't want or need their testimony and it was a nuisance. He had come for mankind not for the demons and his mission was to present Himself to Israel in fulfillment of the prophesies. Isa 42:1-4; and this required a progressive disclosure of His identity and mission.
So while the Pharisees were plotting to kill Him the people are coming to Him. The people simply looked at what Jesus was doing and this resulted in their hope that He was the Messiah who was here to deliver them from their problems.
The crowd is really a mob because they are out of control. Our Lord has no control over them they are only there because they have seen Him perform miracles.
They have heard His dynamic messages, so they are looking to Him as the Person to help them in their personal and t national problems. They are there not so much for salvation and for doctrine, but for personal help.
A crowd is made up of people who are emotional, fickle, and therefore irrational. Emotion means no thought content, no doctrine and no common sense. A mob has to be continually impressed for it to be controlled and in the end the mob will turn against Him because He refuses to solve their political problems.
Approbation from the masses becomes a distraction to perception of doctrine and a breeding ground for arrogance but many of the disciples in the mob are teachable.
They are going to be the men who are going to learn doctrine. But they have to be separated from the crowd so they can concentrate on what is being taught. This is exactly what a local assembly is. Its purpose is to take believers out of the run of society and separate them for brief periods of time so they can learn Bible doctrine.
Mark 3:13; So He leaves crowd at the lake shore and goes up to the hills of central Galilee by himself and calls only those he wanted to come to Him from the crowd.
He left the crowd so that He could be alone to pray Luke 6:12-13; and to draw upon the guidance of God the Father under the principle that "the Son can do nothing of Himself"
When it was time to choose the disciples we don't find Him reviewing their qualifications instead we find Him going to the solitude of the mountains to pray and meditate.
We see from this that unlike the politicians who always seek the approval of men He always sought the direction and provision of the Father.
Mark 3:14-19; From among those who had become disciples, Jesus He chose twelve who were to be intimately associated with Him and to become witnesses of Him after His death and resurrection.
"He appointed twelve, that He might send them forth to preach" Jesus chose them they did not appoint themselves. Jesus specifically chose every one of the twelve apostles according to the will of the Father under the ministry of God the Holy Spirit.
The number twelve corresponds to the twelve tribes of Israel, expressing Jesus' claim as king of the entire nation of Israel and where they would be sent. "The Twelve" became the official designation or title for these disciples who comprised Jesus' inner circle.
They were given the "Power to heal … and to cast out demons. The twelve were empowered by the Lord to do mighty works in order to validate the message that they were to carry to Israel.
Mark 3:20; After appointing the twelve He went back home and the crowd gathered and kept on pressing on him to the point where they demanded so much time and attention that He and His disciples couldn't even find time to eat.
Mark 3:21; When his family heard about it they were concerned for His safety and thought He had lost His mind so they come to force him to go back home to Nazareth with them.
The word translated "take custody" in the NASB is the Greek word "kraeto" that means to take control of, to seize or to arrest.
The word translated "lost His senses" is the Greek word "exeste" that means they thought He was insane or out of His mind.
We see from this that Jesus' family did not approve of what He was doing, thought that He was a mentally unbalanced religious fanatic and tried to restrain Him but He would not permit anyone to interfere with His work.
Mark 3:22; All the while, the scribes of the Pharisees kept on saying that he was demon possessed and that He was performing the miracles with by the power of satan.
These scribes were the religious leaders who had traveled from Jerusalem who saw His growing influence in the minds of the populace and feared for their own power and authority.
Even when demons that were exorcised by His Word departed from their victims the scribes and pharisees refused to believe that the Spirit of God was working in and through Jesus thereby authenticating Him as the promised Messiah.
They deliberately stated that, "He is possessed by Beelzebul and he casts out demons by the prince of the demons. Net note 46
Since the Pharisees could not deny the validity of the miracles all they could try to do was to discredit them or try to explain them away. They did not say that the miracles were not performed they did not say that He did not really do them or say that they were fake.
They could not deny the validity of the miracles because the miracles were completely real. All they could do was to try to explain them away with propaganda, deception and lies so that is what they do.
Beelzebub is a title of derision for Satan. Beelzebub literally means prince of dung. Normally they would refer to him as Satan, the devil, or Lucifer, but they are talking about Satan and Jesus Christ and they want to make it derisive so they refer to satan with the title of Beelzebub, "the prince of the demons" and implying Jesus is associated with him rather than with God.
They are saying in effect that Jesus Christ is working for Beelzebul, and as a result they ascribe to Satan the miracles that Jesus Christ is actually performing by means of the power of God the Holy Spirit.
This was evidence of the complete hardness of their hearts and their locked in negative volition in their rejection of His testimony and God's word. In asserting that the work of the Holy Spirit was that of the prince of the demons they crossed the line. Their hearts were hardened and they were locked into their eternal destiny in the lake of fire as unbelievers.
Mark 3:23-26; Jesus summoned His accusers and refutes their accusations with short proverbial sayings that show the absurdity of the proposition that Satan was acting against himself. Net note 49
He uses illustrations to make the self-evident point that if a kingdom or a household is divided against itself in purpose and goals, it cannot stand.
Taking this premise He uses irrefutable logic, developed in verses 26-28 and deploys a well known debater's technique. He assumes for the moment that the supposition of the Pharisees is correct, and He demonstrates that their supposition is insane. The premise is an axiom that everyone accepted to be true.
The word "if" is a first class condition (assumed to be true) and if it's true that Satan is divided against himself; "how then shall his kingdom stand?" This Obviously does not demand an answer because the answer is self evident.
If it is assumed that Satan opposes himself and his realm is divided it would mean that his power is waning and he is finished and that is clearly false because Satan is still just as strong as ever.
Mark 3:27; The analogy He uses here refutes their first accusation showing that on the contrary that the opposite was true. Satan is the strong man. Net note 51
His house is the realm of sin, sickness, demon possession, and death. His possessions are people who are enslaved by one or more of these things, and the demons are his agents who assist in advancing his nefarious diabolical activity.
No one can enter his realm to steal (or plunder) his possessions unless he first binds the strong man. Then he can rob (or "plunder") the realm, releasing the enslaved victims.
As "the strong man", Satan had held mankind in bondage since the fall of Adam until the Stronger One (Jesus Christ) came to bind him with His Word and spoil his house.
A strong man is a person who is armed to the teeth and sitting by the window that the burglar is trying to open waiting for the burglar to climb through. That's a strong man's house.
In other words, satan and the demons are ready for him. The word "strong man" doesn't mean strong man in the sense of great strength, it means a person who is prepared and ready and waiting for the burglar so he can ambush the burglar.
Now the strong man's house is the devil's world (the devil is the ruler of this world) so how can he enter the strong man's house and "spoil his goods" (rob him), except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house (rob him)".
In other words, what He is saying at this particular point is: Christ is engaged in a perpetual conflict with Satan, so obviously Christ cannot be on Satan's side because He is constantly in conflict with him.
In all of these cases of demon possession where Jesus cast out the demons there was antagonism between them, and Jesus ordered the demons to do something they didn't want to do.
They were armed and ready and waiting for Him but Jesus power was greater. And so He is simply pointing out: Look, I have come into the devil's world and found many members of the human race who were afflicted with demon possession, and under demon possession they can't even use their own volition.
I have come in and removed the demons and I couldn't do this unless I had power over demons. So to cast out demons Christ must have power over Satan and against Satan. Therefore it would be impossible for Jesus to cast out demons in the power of Satan because Satan cannot cast out Satan.
At His temptation and through His exorcisms Jesus demonstrated that He is the Stronger One who is empowered by the Holy Spirit . His mission is to confront and overpower (not cooperate with) Satan and to deliver those enslaved by him.
The Pharisees refusal to accept God the Holy Spirit's testimony regarding Jesus indicated that they were allied with Satan in their opposition to God. Jesus' mission is to confront and overpower (not cooperate with) Satan and to deliver those enslaved by him and the Pharisees are opposing Him in their alliance with Satan.
Mark 3:28; I keep on telling you the truth (present linear tense), "people will be forgiven all manner of sin and blasphemy"
All manner (all categories) of sin and blasphemy will be forgiven because they are to be put out upon Christ at the cross and judged. "Will be forgiven" is in the passive voice, and the future tense , anticipating the cross that is still a future event at this point. Net note 54
Mark 3:29-30; "But the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit shall not be forgiven unto men." (The word "against" is not found in the Greek) but is guilty of an eternal sin. (because they said He has and unclean spirit.) Net note 55
Satan is the ruler of the world and he is working through demons and religious people. At the time, God was speaking directly to the world through His Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit indwells Jesus and actually performs these miracles.
Jesus speaks and gives the gospel in the power of the Spirit. Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is the rejection of that gospel, and these people who are working for Satan cannot help but reject the gospel because the gospel offends them.
The Pharisees take a look at the gospel and say, No, whereas many in the crowds of people have responded by believing that Jesus is the Messiah. Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is the rejection of the Holy Spirit's convicting ministry regarding the gospel.
Jesus is actually personally there so the Holy Spirit deals with Jesus; He is there and so the Holy Spirit is dealing with these people regarding His true identity.
What does it mean to blaspheme the Holy Spirit? The word "blaspheme" means to malign so it is maligning the Holy Spirit. It is rejection of Christ because it is always the Holy Spirit who deals with the gospel message. John 16:8-12;
When people respond to the gospel they are responding to the ministry of the Holy Spirit when people refuse the gospel they are blaspheming the Holy Spirit.
This specific way of rejecting Christ cannot occur today because Christ has to personally be on earth and He has to be performing miracles that are seen and rejected for it to occur in this manner.
Today in the Church Age the Spirit is still performing this ministry of convincing and today it is simply a matter of rejection of the gospel so today blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is simply the rejection of the gospel. In Christ's absence it is called resisting the Holy Spirit. Acts 7:51;
There are five sins against the Holy Spirit listed in the Bible:
Resisting the Holy Spirit Acts 7:51; Only an unbeliever can commit this sin. Resisting the Holy Spirit simply means to reject Christ as saviour with emphasis on the convicting ministry of the Holy Spirit John 16:8-11;
Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit Mark 3:29. Only an unbeliever can commit this sin. It is rejecting the Holy Spirit's conviction regarding the ministry of Christ while Christ is ministering on the earth.
Lying to the Holy Spirit Acts 5:1-3; Only a believer can commit this sin and it is a sin of false motivation.
Grieving the Holy Spirit. Eph 4:30;. Only a believer can commit this sin and it is any sin that the believer commits.
Quenching the Holy Spirit. 1Thess 5:19;. This is a believer performing the evil of human good. When believers are controlled by their old sin nature they perform the evil of human good.
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