Mark Chapter 3

Jesus Heals on the Sabbath:

(Read Mark 3:1-12)
Jesus saw a man with a withered hand in the synagogue. Since it was the Sabbath, the religious leaders asked Jesus whether he would heal the man on the Sabbath day. Jesus asked “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good deeds or to do harm? Is this a day to save life or to destroy it?” But they would not answer him.  They failed to understand God’s intention of the rest on the Sabbath day. Jesus was grieved at the hardness of their heart.  They were more concerned about keeping the Sabbath rules than to do good.  Jesus said to the man “Stretch out your hand”. Immediately his hand was restored.  Jesus rarely performed miracles the same way twice.  Immediately the Pharisees took council with Herodians to kill Jesus.  Herodians were the political party which was loyal to Herod’s family.  God is not interested in our heartless and empty religious rituals.  No one can earn God’s favor by religious rituals and good works. The people came to Jesus from all over Galilee and other regions. The news about his miracles had spread far and wide. Those who had afflictions wanted to touch him. The evil spirits fell down before Jesus and said, “You are the Son of God”.  Jesus strictly ordered them not to make him known. Jesus was doing what the Old Testament predicted would happen (Isaiah 61:1-2). it is easy to go through religious motions rather than true worship of God. 

Jesus Selects the Twelve Apostles:

(Read Mark 3:13-35)
After spending the whole night in prayer Jesus appointed twelve of his disciples to be his apostles (Luke 6:12). Prayer precedes all important decisions Jesus made. They were chosen to be with Jesus.  They were given power to do miracles and preach the gospel. Being with Jesus is more important than serving Christ. Only by God's power we serve Christ.  The apostles had different personalities, but they were bound by the love of Christ. They were sent out in pairs with specific instructions. Today, Christ is with every one of his disciples through the presence of the Holy Spirit to work in the world. Their ministry was to teach and make disciples of Jesus Christ. To know more, read the note on Matthew 10:2-4.  Jesus’ relatives failed to understand his identity. They thought that Jesus was out of his mind.  The disciples are called to follow Jesus. Jesus wants that their priority must be on God and to his purposes. Jesus was accused of doing miracles by the power of the prince of demons.  Jesus asked his accusers, ``How can Satan cast out Satan?”  A kingdom divided will collapse.  Jesus said, “All sins will be forgiven but the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven”. The only unpardonable sin is rejecting Christ as Lord and Savior. Our personal devotion to God should surpass earthly relationships even if they resist our decisions.  Pray that God would help us to love others and share the gospel with them. Our ability to love others is fueled by Christ’s love for us.