About Jesus     Steve Sweetman

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ch. 3:7-12   ch. 3:13-19   ch. 3:20-30     ch. 3:31-34


Crowd Follow Jesus (ch. 3:7-12)


In verses 7 to 12 we see that Jesus is pressed in on all sides by the crowds.  He can’t get away from them.  He and His disciples go to the lake, which would be the Sea of Galilee .  He asks some of His followers to find a boat for him so that He wouldn’t be pressed in and overwhelmed by the crowd.  He preaches to the crowd  from off shore. 


Preaching from a boat had secondary value as well as being a distance from the crowd.  The water would provide natural amplification so that everyone could hear Him.


We see the demons coming out of people again, and every time they came out they recognized that Jesus was the Son of God. 


The Appointing Of The Twelve  (ch 3:13-19)


In this section we see Jesus going up into a mountain, probably to be alone.  Here He called 12 men out of the many disciples that He had gathered.  We need to realize that scholars believe this moment of time is well into Jesus’ second year of ministry.  From all of His followers He chose “whom He wanted”.  Jesus by divine inspiration wanted these 12 men to be more than disciples. 


Mark said that He “appointed” these men to be “apostles”.  The word apostle simply means “sent one”.  So implied in the word apostle is the idea of being sent somewhere.


Verse 14 says that Jesus called these men for two reason.  The first is that they might be with Him.  They’ve been with Jesus for a while now, but it appears from here on out that more time would be spent together, and this was because He would send them out into the world, which is the second reason why He called these 12 men.


For the last year or so these men had some training in general terms, but for the next year or so they’ll have more detailed training, with a few practice runs at going out on their own.  Even though Jesus has called these men aside at this point in time and appointed them as apostles, they wouldn’t be actually sent out on a full time basis until the Day of Pentecost.


Jesus was going to send them out to preach, but along with the preaching these men would cast out demons and heal people as well, just as He did.  It is interesting that Jesus calls 12 out of the many followers to be sent ones with the authority to do miraculous things.  This leads one to believe that the rest of the disciples did not have such authority and power at this time.  This might make one think that not all Christians are endowed with the same power and authority.  This would be dependent upon one’s calling from Jesus. This might well account for the reason why some are more successful in working miracles than others.


I believe if you do a detailed study of the Book of Acts you’ll see that not all had the same miraculous power that men like Peter and Paul had.


It is also interesting to note that before Jesus sent anyone out into the world to serve Him, He first calls them to Himself to spend time with Him.  That hasn’t changed.  Who Jesus calls to serve Him, He first calls to be with Him.    


Jesus And Beelzebub (ch. 3:20-30)


Verse 20 says that Jesus “entered a house”.  Many Greek scholars say because of the wording here that the house was probably “Jesus’ house” that we’ve referred to earlier in this commentary.


It appears that Jesus and His disciples were hungry and ready to eat but couldn’t because of the great crowd that followed Jesus to His doorstep.  When the rest of Jesus’ family saw this, or at least some of the rest of His family, “they took” charge of things.  At this point these family members thought things were getting too much out of control with Jesus. It is clear that these family members were not followers of Jesus.


The family members actually “took charge of Jesus” saying that “He is out of His mind”.  So they more than took charge of the situation. They took charge of Jesus, or at least tried to.


While the family members thought Jesus was out of His mind the Pharisees went a stop further and said that He was associated “with Beelzebub, the prince of demons”, meaning the devil.  They were saying that the power Jesus had to cast out demons came from the devil.


There’s some vagueness concerning the word Beelzebub, but the best understanding seems to be that it means “lord of the dwelling’ and is associated with the Old Testament false god called Baal.


So the Pharisees claimed that Jesus casts out demons by the authority of satan.  Therefore Jesus presents them with a very logical question, “how can satan cast out satan”.  He goes on to explain using a couple of analogies.


Jesus says that if a Kingdom is divided against itself, the Kingdom won’t stand.  Nothing to intelligent about that.  Learned men such as the Pharisees should follow this line of reasoning without too much trouble.  How and why would he work against himself by casting his own demons out of people?  That made no sense.


In verse 27 Jesus says that no one can rob a strong man’s possessions unless he first ties up the strong man and disables him.  After this is done then you have the ability to rob him.  Now in context this strong man that Jesus is speaking of here is the devil.


What Jesus is in fact saying is that there will be demonic influences on men and women until the day comes when the strong man, that is satan is tied up.  Until then Jesus and those to whom He has given authority can free individuals of demons, but demonic influence will remain until satan is tied up for good.


The question then is, “when will satan be tied up for good”?  I believe the book of Revelation is clear on this point.  At the end of the thousand years of the rule of Christ, satan will be let loose one more time to try to bring the nations to his side.  Then after a little while Jesus will intervene for the last time and satan will be thrown into the Lake of Fire for ever.  At this time he will be bound forever.


You often hear people in prayer “binding the devil”, as if they can do such a thing.  I don’t think we can bind the devil.  Jesus doesn’t even bind him so how can we?  But the day will come where he will be bound and until that day comes we cannot bind him.  Only Jesus can bind the devil, and He will at the appointed time.


In verse 28 Jesus says that “all sins and blasphemies of men will be forgiven him”.  Jesus is not saying that all men will be saved here because all their sins will be forgiven.  We need to understand this statement in light of other statements that Jesus makes.  The forgiveness of sins, or the dismissal of sins is conditional upon repentance.  This means that one must change his mind concerning his sin.  He must realize that his sin is indeed sin and is wrong in God’s eyes.  


Yet in verse 29 Jesus introduces one sin to the conversation that can never be forgiven.  This sin is blaspheming against the Holy Spirit, something the Pharisees seem close to doing when they said that Jesus did miracles by the power of satan, when in fact He did them by the power of the Holy Spirit.


This gives us a clue to what the blasphemous sin is.  In context it seems to be attributing the work of the Holy Spirit to the devil, and not just any work, but the specific work that Jesus does.  If Jesus does anything, it is through the power of the Holy Spirit.  If you disclaim this, then you are disclaiming Jesus.  If you say that Jesus is associated with the devil and not the Holy Spirit, then you are in fact denying who Jesus really is.  This denial is the unpardonable sin. You must believe that Jesus is divine in order to be forgiven of all your sins.  If you believe He is not divine, or especially if you believe He’s from the devil, that sin can never be forgiven.  This is only logical. 


I’ve always said that there is one sin that Jesus cannot forgive and that is unbelief.  If He would forgive our unbelief in Him then all mankind would be saved because there would be no reason to believe, and Jesus would have gone through what He did in vain.  So all sin Jesus can forgive once repented of, but as long as one is in unbelief, there is no forgiveness for him.  And if one says that Jesus is associated with the devil, then it is obvious that He doesn’t believe.  This sin can never be forgiven. By making Jesus in the same league as the devil, you’ve denied the deity of Christ, the foundation stone to our whole belief system.


Jesus’ Mother and Brothers (ch. 3:31-34)


In this section we see Jesus’ mother and brothers outside of the house wanting in to see Jesus.  Somebody tells Jesus that His mother and brothers are outside and want in to talk with Him.


His answer may be strange to us at first.  He asks, “who are my mother and my brothers”?  In His answer He says that those who do the will of God are His mother and brothers.  By this answer Jesus is telling us that there is more to Him than what appears.  Jesus  is more than a human being with an earthly mother and brothers.  In fact He is the Son of God who is about to have many adopted brothers and sisters.  These adopted people are those who do the will of God, and the first thing they must do is believe or give themselves to Him. 


In the long run, Jesus’ spiritual family has little to do with His earthly family.  It is His Heavenly or spiritual family that is important and will be throughout all of eternity.  This should say something to the Catholic belief that Mary is someone special, especially the idea that she is the mother of God.  This idea is far from Scriptural truth.

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