Mark 3:31-35 – Familia

31 There came then his brethren and his mother, and, standing without, sent unto him, calling him.

32 And the multitude sat about him, and they said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee.

33 And he answered them, saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren?

34 And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!

35 For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.

Today, we are looking at a passage that sometimes really stumps people about what in the world Jesus was talking about! After all, The Bible does tell us to honor our parents, so why would Jesus so blatantly turn away His own family? Jesus was making a point to all the people listening to Him. Jesus was showing them that those who follow Him were closer than His physical family because they were part of His spiritual family.

Family is a very interesting thing for Jesus to connect Him and His followers with. Families sometimes fight, they get mad at each other, they don’t always get along, but they are family, and that is what Christians are to Jesus. Jesus’ connection does not just apply to those people who were following Him back then. Jesus never put a time stamp on His statement! Anyone, even today, that does “the will of God” is part of Jesus’ family! But what does that mean? The first part of doing God’s will is to accept His gift of salvation and forgiveness of our sins. So, if you have taken that first step into Jesus’ family, you are like a brother or sister to Him! Of course, there is still a responsibility to get to know Him better (you don’t want to be one of those crazy cousins that nobody knows, after all), but John 1:12 tells us that if we receive Jesus, we enter into God’s family.

This idea of family has a very important application for us. If every Christian is part of God’s family, that means that, spiritually, every Christian is related. Just think about that for a second next time you are in church. Many of those people sitting there are your spiritual brothers or sisters, regardless of their age, race, looks, background, nationality, or anything. All it takes to be a part of this family is belief in Jesus Christ! That would also mean that we have a responsibility to do right by our brothers and sisters in Christ. Why people would gossip about, lie to, or not be their for  their brothers and sisters just makes no sense. We, as Christians, are God’s family, and we ought to act like it!

Life Step: Think about it…

Why is it so amazing that God would let us into His family?

In what kind of ways do people mistreat those in the spiritual family?

How should we treat our spiritual brothers and sisters?

The Strong Man

Mark 3:22-27 – The Strong Man

22 And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth he out devils.

23 And he called them unto him, and said unto them in parables, How can Satan cast out Satan?

24 And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.

25 And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.

26 And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end.

27 No man can enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house.

From yesterday’s passage, we see the same thing continuing to happen in Jesus’ ministry. He continues to heal people which bring in more people and causes the Pharisees to hate Him more and more. Now, Jesus’ main detractors, the Pharisees, try to turn people away from Jesus by telling them that He really is being used by Satan! Not only is this a lie, but blasphemy! Jesus rebukes them accordingly, too. He tells them that they crossed a big line from which they could not turn back. Before rebuking the Pharisees, Jesus first makes sure He shows how wrong their claim is. He tells them that if He was from Satan, why would he kick out demons from people? An army cannot go on killing it’s own people, after all!  In fact, Jesus takes the opportunity to show that the fact that He is casting out demons does not show that He is from the Devil, but stronger than the Devil! He tells them that if someone wants to rob a strong man (and the Devil is strong), He has to be stronger than the strong man to subdue Him, otherwise the strong man will beat him up. Jesus is saying that because He can cast out demons, Satan is weak compared to Christ.

For us, this passage is still very true today. First John 4:4 says, “greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” The”He” in the world is Satan. The Devil is very real and very powerful, but we must remember that, compared to God, He is weak! Also, it is important to remember that Christ is also greater than any kind of sin or temptation we could face. Whatever comes at us through life, we have a God who has already beaten it. It does not matter what kind of struggle you have or had, God is greater than them and he has provided a way through Jesus Christ. Jesus, and the salvation that is from Him, can forgive our sins, give us the strength to forgive others, show us that we do not have to be guilty of what we did in the past, shows us that we are loved, and any number of other things! Whatever you face, Jesus has already beaten it, just like in His illustration with the strong man.

Life Step: Think about it…

Why did Jesus use the example of the strong man? What does it mean for us?

What kind of things do people struggle with that Jesus has already beaten?

Getting on People’s Bad Side

Mark 3:1-6 – Getting on People’s Bad Side

1  And he entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand.

And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him.

And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand, Stand forth.

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.

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.

And the Pharisees went forth, and straightway took counsel with the Herodians against him, how they might destroy him.

In today’s passage, Jesus now really finds Himself getting on people’s bad side. As Jesus was in the Synagogue, a man with a withered hand was also there. Jesus asked the people if it was also wrong to heal someone on the Sabbath, since they had criticized Him for gathering food on the same day. The Pharisees, of course, were looking for any excuse to criticize Jesus and what He was doing. Jesus went ahead and healed the man, so the Pharisees went to the Herodians, who were a group of Jews who just wanted to keep peace with Rome no matter what, and tried to figure out a way to “destroy” Jesus! What was Jesus’ crime? He healed a man on the Sabbath, and that was enough to put Him on People’s bad side to the point where they wanted to destroy Him.

As a Christian, when we try to do the right things, there are going to be people who just don’t like it. Sometimes there is no way to avoid getting on someone’s bad side. When you take a stand for what is right, people who only want to do what’s wrong won’t like it. That’s okay! As Christians, we do not have to get everyone to like us. Jesus was the Son of God and, in today’s passage, the Pharisees are trying to figure out how to destroy Him! Don’t worry if people like or don’t like you. Just do what God says and He will take care of the rest.

Life Step: Think about it…

In what situations do people get mad at Christians who stand up for something right?

What should our response be when people get mad at us for wanting to do what is right?

Not About Rules

Mark 2:23-28 – Not About Rules


23 And it came to pass, that he went through the corn fields on the sabbath day; and his disciples began, as they went, to pluck the ears of corn.


24 And the Pharisees said unto him, Behold, why do they on the sabbath day that which is not lawful?


25 And he said unto them, Have ye never read what David did, when he had need, and was an hungred, he, and they that were with him?


26 How he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and did eat the shewbread, which is not lawful to eat but for the priests, and gave also to them which were with him?


27 And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:


28 Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.


In today’s passage, Jesus was breaking the Pharisees’ rules about what could and could not be done on the Sabbath. The Pharisees went beyond where the Bible did for making rules that everyone had to follow. In this case, it was about getting food on the Sabbath. Jesus and His disciples were picking their food so that they could eat and the Pharisees were not happy about this. Jesus reminds them about David who did something similar for the same reasons and they quickly backed off.

For us Christians, this passage illustrates to us that Christianity is not all about rules that people have come up with. sometimes, people like to add rules to what the Bible says to make a spiritual check list for various reasons. God does establish some over arching rules that we, as Christians, need to follow (like don’t lie, give to God, treat others the way you want to be treated, do not lust, etc.). Anything that is not found in the Bible is someone’s opinion (such as what kind of clothes someone should wear withing modest limits, or kinds music that some people listen to). Not that they are bad opinions, but they are just that. As Christians, we need to remember not to judge others that still follow the Bible but might not hold the same opinions. Doctrine is one thing, opinions are another.

Life Step: Think about it…

What kind of opinions do people tend to add to Christianity?

Why is it wrong to teach opinions as facts, like the Pharisees did?