Daily Devotional Thursday 17th November 2022

by William Moody

Mark 3

A Man with a Withered Hand

3:1 Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there with a withered hand. And they watched Jesus,1 to see whether he would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse him. And he said to the man with the withered hand, “Come here.” And he said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?” But they were silent. And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. The Pharisees went out and immediately held counsel with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him.

A Great Crowd Follows Jesus

Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the sea, and a great crowd followed, from Galilee and Judea and Jerusalem and Idumea and from beyond the Jordan and from around Tyre and Sidon. When the great crowd heard all that he was doing, they came to him. And he told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, lest they crush him, 10 for he had healed many, so that all who had diseases pressed around him to touch him. 11 And whenever the unclean spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, “You are the Son of God.” 12 And he strictly ordered them not to make him known.

The Twelve Apostles

13 And he went up on the mountain and called to him those whom he desired, and they came to him. 14 And he appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach 15 and have authority to cast out demons. 16 He appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter); 17 James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James (to whom he gave the name Boanerges, that is, Sons of Thunder); 18 Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Zealot,2 19 and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.

20 Then he went home, and the crowd gathered again, so that they could not even eat. 21 And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for they were saying, “He is out of his mind.”

Blasphemy Against the Holy Spirit

22 And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and “by the prince of demons he casts out the demons.” 23 And he called them to him and said to them in parables, “How can Satan cast out Satan? 24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. 26 And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but is coming to an end. 27 But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. Then indeed he may plunder his house.

28 “Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the children of man, and whatever blasphemies they utter, 29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”30 for they were saying, “He has an unclean spirit.”

Jesus’ Mother and Brothers

31 And his mother and his brothers came, and standing outside they sent to him and called him. 32 And a crowd was sitting around him, and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers3 are outside, seeking you.” 33 And he answered them, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” 34 And looking about at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 35 For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.”


[1] 3:2 Greek him
[2] 3:18 Greek kananaios, meaning zealot
[3] 3:32 Other manuscripts add and your sisters


Today we see in this passage how different groups responded to Jesus.

  1. the leaders (v6) – the Pharisees and Herodians were usually in opposition to each other but here they unite to attack Jesus who they see as a common enemy.
  2. the crowd (v9-10) – there was no hiding place, the crowds thronged after Jesus amazed at His miracles – so that He was in danger of being crushed.
  3. the demons (v11-12) – they have to recoil at His greatness, acknowledging who He was. Sadly many people today fail to do what even the demons do here.
  4. the disciples (v13-19) – they stick close to Him and enter into his ministry of preaching, meeting needs and confronting evil.
  5. His family (v20-21) – they thought He was mad, an embarrassment. They want to take Him home safely out of the public eye.

The opposition of the Jewish religious leaders gets more aggressive as they accuse Jesus does His miracles by the power of Satan (v22). Using a parable (v23-27) Jesus shows how foolish this is, as He is attacking Satan’s Kingdom. Jesus warns them as calling the work of the Holy Spirit evil is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit and the unpardonable sin. Those who have committed this sin are those who have so resisted the Holy Spirit that they have become totally hardened to spiritual things.

Here is the second occasion when Jesus’ family came to Him (see 3 v20). Their attitude appears to be that He should drop everything for them (v31). Jesus shows that as important as family ties are, they are not as important as doing the will of God. Are there family ties holding you back in your service of Christ?

Jesus considers those who join Him in doing the Father’s will as His family (v35).

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®),
copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.