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Mark 3 Reading Guide

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Chapter Summary

  • v1-6 - Mark has been cataloging the conflicts that arose between Jesus and the establishment (Pharisees & teachers of the law) early on in His ministry, which is why chapter three begins with the ominous phrase "Another time..."

    • Ironically, these guys were hanging on every word Jesus spoke, but not because they wanted to learn from Him, but because they wanted to accuse Him.

      • Jesus seizes the moment, and spots an opportunity to heal.

      • He masterfully pulls the rug out from underneath them by asking what the better thing to do on the Sabbath - good or evil, saving life or killing. His opponents are silenced.

    • This passage gives us a massive insight into Jesus' character. He's at the same time:

      • angry with them - we expect Jesus to be angry at sin;

      • but he's also "deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts (v5)." Mark uses a very unique word here to describe Jesus' emotional response to sin:

        • It grieves Him personally,

        • but yet He also feels sorry for the sinner.

        • Remember, God is not just plain angry with your sin, but He feels sorry for you and wants reconciliation

    • Jesus heals the man on the Sabbath, but instead of trusting in Jesus, the establishment doubles down and plots to kill Him.

  • v7-19 - Jesus is like a rock star now surrounded by crowds wanting miracles.

    • Twice in this passage, Jesus withdraws from the chaos to quiet places (v7 & 13). We've already seen several times and we'll see lots more in Mark how important times of silence & solitude are to Jesus. You need to make the time for it as well.

    • Jesus appoints His twelve disciples;

    • He also once again implores that those who discover the truth about His identity (in this case, demons!) to keep it quiet, because the crowds aren't ready for that truth yet.

  • v20-35 - Once again the crowds surround Jesus.

    • The establishment accuses Jesus of being demonic.

      • Jesus easily shuts their accusation down by showing how illogical it is for Satan to oppose himself.

      • In the same way, blaspheming the Holy Spirit is unforgivable because the blasphemer would be cursing the one who grants forgiveness.

    • Even Jesus' family thinks He's nuts at this point.


1 Kings 13:1-10 is another episode involving a hand that first miraculously was shriveled, and then restored. Read the entire chapter for a fascinating account of what happens to see that "a house divided against itself cannot stand (Mark 3:25)."


Use the comment box below to discuss one or more of these questions:

  1. EYE FOR DETAIL—From what you recall seeing in this chapter, try answering the following question without looking at your Bible: Bible: In this chapter we read that when the evil spirits saw Jesus, they fell down and cried out to Him. What is it that they cried out to Jesus? (See verse 11.)

  2. Both the crowds and the establishment completely miss the point about who Jesus is and why He came. Why do you think they missed it?

Question 1 taken from The Complete Bible Discussion Guide: New Testament

Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:

  • ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: God is our Father, and even the demons recognized that Jesus is God's Son (v11)

  • ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Jesus said that His family members are "whoever does God's will (v35)." Pray that you will be Jesus' "mother, brother and sister" by doing His will.


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