OceanSide church of Christ
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THE PEOPLE WHO SURROUNDED THE SERVANT OF GOD
Victor M. Eskew
A. We have begun a series of lessons on the Gospel of Mark.
1. In chapter one, the Servant of God was introduced
2. In chapter two, the Servant of God faced opposition.
B. Tonight, our focus is upon Mark 3.
1. We have divided the chapter into six sections.
2. Our focus will be upon “The People Who Surrounded the Servant of God.”
I. THE FOES (Mark 3:1-6)
A. Chapter two saw much opposition against Jesus. This opposition continues in the opening verses of Mark 3.
B. The Circumstance:
1. The day was the Sabbath day.
2. The place was the synagogue
3. …and there was a man there which had a withered hand (Mark 3:1).
C. The Concern: The question that Jesus’ foes had was whether Jesus would heal this man on the Sabbath day (Mark 3:2).
D. The Course:
1. The call (Mark 3:3): Stand forth.
2. The confrontation (Mark 3:4).
And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath days, or to do evil? To save life, or to kill? But they held their peace.
a. Jesus knew that work was condemned on the Sabbath.
b. He also knew that acts of compassion and mercy did not constitute work. So did His enemies. Thus, they held their peace.
3. The cure (Mark 3:5)
a. Heartache: anger and grief expressed by Jesus
b. Hardness: in spite of knowing what Jesus said was true
c. Healing: immediate and whole
E. The Jews were not pleased. The Pharisees and Herodians took counsel how they might destroy him (Mark 3:6).
II. THE FLOCKS (Mark 3:7-10)
A. In Mark 3:7-9, we read the word “multitude” three times. In verses 7 and 8, we read the words a great multitude.
B. Seven cities or regions are named from whence the flocks of people came.
C. The press was so great that Jesus had to take protective measures (Mark 3:9).
And he spake to his disciples, that a small ship should wait on him because of the multitude, lest they should throng him.
D. Mark 3:10 indicates “why” the multitudes followed Jesus.
For he had healed many…
1. These individuals desired the benefits the Servant of God provided.
2. The question, however, is would they desire the cross they would be called to bear? Perhaps this is the question that we need to ask ourselves.
III. THE FIENDS (Mark 3:10-11)
And the unclean spirits, when they saw him, fell down before him, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of God. And he straitly charged them that they should not make him known.
A. These two verses open up hours of discussion.
1. Who were these unclean spirits?
2. How did they inhabit the bodies they possessed?
3. They had a deep knowledge of who Jesus was.
4. The Messianic secret
B. Most believe that these spirits or demons were the spirits of the wicked dead. These spirits were released from the hadean realm during the time of the mira-culous age. Their purpose was to enable Jesus to manifest His power over the unseen realm of the dead.
C. The confession of these unclean spirits is a strong argument against salvation by faith only.
1. These spirits knew Jesus. They had faith in Him. They even confessed: Thou art the Son of God. Their faith, however, did not save them.
2. In like manner, it is not enough today to merely have faith in Jesus and confess Him. James said: Thou believest that there is one God, thou doest well: the devils also believe and tremble (James 2:19).
3. Obedience to God’s will (Matt. 7:21), including the command to be baptized (Acts 22:16) is absolutely essential to salvation.
IV. THE FAITHFUL (Mark 3:13-18)
A. Mark 3:14-15
And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach, and to have power to heal sickness, and to cast out devils.
1. Twelve men were chosen by Jesus to be His apostles. These men were similar in many respects, but also radically different.
2. The key words: …that they should be with him…
a. They would hear things that had never heard before.
b. They would see things they had never seen before.
c. They would be challenged, confronted, and rebuked.
d. At the end of their training, it could be said of others that they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus (Acts 4:13).
3. These men were trained for their ultimate mission, to take the gospel to the world and confirm their message with signs following (Mark 16:15-20).
4. NOTE: Judas was among the twelve. He was afforded a wonderful opportunity.
B. We could ask ourselves some questions here:
1. Have we been with Jesus? Does it show?
2. Are we fulfilling our mission to spread the gospel to the world?
3. Have any of us become like Judas? Heart problems cause him to betray the Christ.
V. FALSE ACCUSERS (Mark 3:22-29)
A. More trouble comes from the scribes (Mark 3:22)
And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils he casteth out devils.
1. The scribes could not discredit the miracles performed by Jesus.
2. All they could try to do is lie about the authority behind the miracles.
B. As was His custom, Jesus confronted His accusers head-on. He didn’t let things slide. He set the record straight. Two points were made by the Lord.
1. If He cast our demons by Satan, then Satan’s kingdom would fall because it would be divided against itself (Mark 3:23-27).
2. Condemnation was pronounced upon those who blasphemed against the Holy Spirit (Mark 3:29).
But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal condemnation.
a. Some remove this passage from its context and make it refer to sins that one refuses to repent of and confess unto God.
b. Others believe that this was a very specific sin committed by those Jews. They do not believe the sin can be committed today because Jesus is no longer on the earth casting our demons.
C. LESSON: Before we make false accusations against others, we should be extremely careful. Those accusations can carry very heavy consequences.
VI. THE FAMILY
A. Another group that surrounded Jesus was His family.
1. His brothers did not believe in Him until after the resurrection (John 7:5).
2. His mother, however, watched Him closely and hid things within her heart (Luke 2:19, 51).
B. On this occasion, Jesus’ family was seeking Him (Mark 3:31).
C. Jesus was informed of their presence (Mark 3:32).
1. Most of us would almost stop instantly, especially if our mother were seeking us.
2. Jesus took the opportunity to teach a powerful lesson.
D. Jesus stresses the spiritual over the physical (Mark 3:33-35).
And he answered them, saying, Who is my mother, or my brother? And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold, my mother and my brethren! For who-soever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.
1. Jesus was not trying to disrespect His family. He made certain that His mother was cared for even as He hung upon the cross (John 19:26-27).
2. He was noting that all can have a relationship with Him. Those who do the will of God can be His kinsmen.
A. Jesus was surrounded by many different groups of people during His earthly ministry.
1. Some were foes.
2. Some were part of the curious flocks.
3. Some were faithful to Him.
4. Some were His family.
B. All of us should desire a family relationship with the Servant of God. Each of us can if we will do God’s will tonight.