Monday, February 20, 2012

Mark 3

A Man with a Withered Hand

On the Sabbath, Jesus saw a man with a withered hand, the man asked if it was ok to "do good or harm, to save life or to kill" on the Sabbath. Jesus was angered by their hardness of heart, he healed the man's hand. The Pharisees went out and schemed on how to destroy Jesus.

Not sure what the message is here, maybe it is ok to break the rules if it is for a good reason. Or maybe for a good deed. Which actually seems like a fine lesson to me.

A Great Crowd Follows Jesus

Jesus is healing lots of people so anyone who is sick starts following him around trying to touch him for a healing. Jesus tries to get away so he doesn't get crushed.

The Twelve Apostles

Jesus picks his twelve apostles and gives them the power to preach and cast out demons for him.

Blasphemy Against the Holy Spirit

The scribes say that Jesus is possessed by Beelzebub. They say he can cast out demons because he is the prince of demons. Jesus answers that Satan can't cast out demons because a house cannot stand if it is divided against itself.

This is terrible logic, it completely leaves out the possibility that Satan is crafty. Maybe it is worth sacrificing a pawn for a bigger goal.

Jesus says that all sins will be forgiven except blasphemes against the holy spirit. It ends with "for they were saying 'He has an unclean spirit'"

Wait a minute, that last bit makes it sound like the crowd was saying Jesus was unclean and he retaliated by saying they are going to hell and there is nothing they can do about it now. Last time this came up there was some talk about how it only counts as blasphemy if you really understand what the holy spirit is. But that isn't what is going on here. They think he is a demon using magic tricks to fool them, and he says they are going to hell for it.

Jesus' Mother and Brothers

Jesus' mother and brothers were outside and asked Jesus to come see them. He said that anyone who does the will of God is his mother and brother and sister.

I'm guessing this is supposed to make the reader feel like they are family of Jesus, but it just makes me think he is being bad to his family.


  1. I guess Beelzebub was once the God of the Phillistines (according to some sources, the arch enemies of Israelites) and according to Wiki, eventually he became lord of one of the seven layers of hell. So I don't know how this usually works. It sounds like the God was just "adopted" into Christian theology.

    I think my notes and thoughts are pretty close to yours in this chapter. It is interesting how Jesus gets angry.. In Matthew 5:22 I think we read something like "But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say , Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire." I guess even though Jesus is considered man, the rules do not apply to him.

    Thaddaeus. I have a note that he does not appear in the listings of the apostles in Luke (6:14-16) and Acts 1:13. He does appear in Matthew (10:3). Maybe he was better friends with the author of Mark and Matthew, but Luke and the writer of Acts forgot about him.

    I do agree with you. Jesus was kind of a jerk to his family, but he did command his followers to leave their earthly families to follow him. Between that and ostracizing non believers, it sounds kind of cultish.

  2. So the apostles are not even consistent? How do Christians account for this? Do some books of the bible use a nickname?

  3. In the bible it does say that Simon's named was changed to Peter, so that one is pretty cleared up for me.

    Matthew 10:2-4 “The names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. ”

    Mark 3:16-19 “He appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter);  James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James (to whom he gave the name Boanerges, that is, Sons of Thunder); Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. ”

    Luke 6:14-16 “ Simon, whom he named Peter, and Andrew his brother, and James and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot, and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.

    Acts 1:13 “And when they had entered, they went up to the upper room, where they were staying, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot and Judas the son of James.

    According to he goes into more detail, but if we just go ahead and assume that the first two Thaddaeus's meant Judas, there is no contradiction.

    Another answer comes from this website.. He says that the evidence comes from a reference to him in some places in the Apocrypha. This is interesting to me, as the Apocrypha were never used in the final versions as we see them today. When talking with people about these lost gospels and why they weren't used, I've heard some people say that they were forgeries or heresy. One thing to note, is that Christianity as we know it today wasn't always united. It was a lot of competing doctrines, and eventually a few won out. I know many Christians that deny this when you bring it up, but its a pretty solid when it comes to documentation of early church history. The churches were like small communities and congregations who taught different things. The books in the bible we see today weren't narrowed down until the fourth century under Constantine. Those that they felt followed their doctrine were kept, the rest were “trashed.” We also saw 600 years (up until the late 19th century) of the church trying to squash other ideas about interpretations of the bible, even burning some alive and/or torturing them until they died or recanted their beliefs. (The burning alive was to “save their souls” and have them feel hellfire before they died so they could change their minds. Aka, done for “their own good.”)

    Not sure if this “helps..”

  4. It is pretty much what I figured actually. You have 2 names, Thaddaeus and Judas, that differ. But you have to have the same list of names, what is the solution? They must be the same person! If there is some other place in the bible where it says this is one person who goes by 2 names that's fine, but if not it really feels like a reach.


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