Review of Mark 3

Review of Mark 3

by Victor Fawole

JESUS ON “FACEBOOK”: Follow, Like, Share & Comment

Welcome to today’s study of Mark 3 — a gospel account that is loud on both the divinity and humanity of Jesus, giving much attention to the Servant Jesus who goes round the table (towns) dishing out healings compassionately.

Interestingly, Mark 3 picks up from where Mark 2 ended — controversy about the Sabbath. One would think that, since Jesus already declared Himself as the Lord of Sabbath, the Pharisees and scribes would rejoice at every time he gives miraculous rest to people in bondage. But (…your guess is as good as mine) they wouldn’t!

A careful read of Mark 3 reveals that Jesus had “followers”, a mixed breed of people who accepted him and people who rejected Him. Put on your imaginative cap, and imagine that Galilee is today’s Facebook. Jesus had gained the highest number of followers (Mark 1:28), his live sessions had huge traffic (Mark 2:2), and each time He came online, He had a lot of notifications to deal with (Mark 1:45). However, let’s explore the three categories of these “followers” and watch how Jesus “handled” them.

This category had hit the “follow” button, and they were just like “monitoring spirits”. Jesus was in the synagogue and there was also a man with a withered hand. The scribes and Pharisees (Luke 6:7) were there also. They were “followers” by eyes, but not by heart.

Mark 3:2 Since it was the Sabbath, Jesus’ enemies watched him closely. If he healed the man’s hand, they planned to accuse him of working on the Sabbath.

They were watching Him, neither to learn from Him, nor to appreciate Him, but to accuse Him! In today’s parlance, we’d say they were watching Jesus with their “bombastic side eye”. They were not doubting His ability to heal, or His compassion. They simply wanted to “catch” Jesus breaking their Sabbath rules. Just like King David said: “The wicked spies upon the righteous and seeks to kill him.” (Psa. 37:32) Jesus called the man that needed healing to “stand in front of everyone” (v. 3 NLT). He then asked them a question that revealed the spirit of the Law.

Mark 3:4 Then he turned to his critics and asked, “Does the law permit good deeds on the Sabbath, or is it a day for doing evil? Is this a day to save life or to destroy it?” But they wouldn’t answer him. (NLT)

They could not answer Him! Why? Agreeing that it is lawful to do good and to save a life on the Sabbath left them with no basis for accusing Jesus of breaking the Law. Also, if they had said that it is good to do harm and to destroy a life on the Sabbath, they would be revealing themselves as evil and merciless. So, how did Jesus handle them?

Mark 3:5 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.

Jesus looks at the sick with compassion, but looks at the self-righteous with anger. This is a word of caution to those who follow preachers of the grace and love of Jesus in order to accuse them, slander them, persecute them, shame them, or attack them, as they’d be positioning themselves as recipients of the anger of Jesus.

This is the category of people who clicked the follow button, like and share! They are loyal to the cause of the gospel. They learn from Him, appreciate Him, and trust Him.

Mark 3:14 And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach,

He ordained them – they “followed” him!
That they should be with him – they “liked” Him and His message!
And that he might send them forth to preach – they “shared” His message!

This is the category where every true believer belongs. This is where we belong!

John 15:16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide…

1Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

Ephesians 1:4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.

Ephesians 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and hath made us sit together in the heavenly places, through Christ Jesus.

Matthew 11:28-29 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Mark 16:15
And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.

The progression is important: “Being with Jesus” comes before “Doing for Jesus”. Your personal ministry is far more important than your pulpit/public ministry. This is very important for us as believers, as we must ensure that we avoid the “Martha trap” in our bid to “work for God”. You will do well to learn more in this article written by Pastor Damilola Akinyera: “How Would You React If Jesus Visits You?”

Jesus empowered His disciples to have authority over demons. When we preach and teach the gospel, the power of God is made available for us to take authority over demons, heal diseases, and set the captives free with the truth of the gospel.

This is the category of people who hit the follow button, but drop evil comments and accusations about Jesus. They reject and slander Christ. They scorn His sacrifice and (directly or indirectly) claim that Jesus is an agent of Satan.

Mark 3:28 “I tell you the truth, all sin and blasphemy can be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven. This is a sin with eternal consequences.”

This is one of the scary verses for some believers. They live in constant fear that they might “blaspheme the Holy Spirit”. In fact, I’ve heard some prophets threaten believers that they (the believers) must do what “the Spirit” has told them (the prophets) or else, it means they’re blaspheming the Holy Spirit… and that, is an unpardonable sin.

However, what does it mean to blaspheme the Holy Spirit? What is this “unpardonable sin” that cannot be forgiven? It is the conscious, constant, and continuous rejection of Christ as Saviour. They blasphemed the Holy Spirit by calling Jesus “demonic” (v. 30). The blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, specific as it was to the Pharisees’ situation, CANNOT be duplicated today. To commit this sin, Jesus Christ will have to be on earth physically performing a miracle and then you saying He has a demon! Jesus Christ is not on earth, and no one today can personally see Jesus perform a miracle and then attribute that power to Satan instead of the Spirit. The only “unpardonable sin” today is that of CONTINUED unbelief. (John 3:18, 1John 5:12) Pastor Damilola Akinyera has written an article and taught a sermon on this subject.

Repeat after me:
I am ordained by the Lord!
I am seated with the Lord!
I am empowered by the Lord!

Grace to you. Amen.

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