Faith Outside Religion

Faith Outside Religion
Mark 3:1-35


The Invitation – Mark chapter one begins with a declaration of the identity of Jesus and his introduction to the world by John the Baptist.  Jesus begins to declare the good news of the Kingdom and demonstrate his identity through his words, actions, and authority.

  • Preparing the Way (Mark 1:1-15)
  • Jesus’ Ministry Begins (Mark 1:16-45)

Who’s the Gospel For? – the second chapter of Mark highlights those who were receptive to the good news that Jesus brought as opposed to those who were suspicious or hostile to his message.

  • Conflict in Galilee (Mark 2:1 – 3:6)

Faith Outside Religion – This week we’re looking at the shift that happens in Mark 3 as Jesus steps away from the synagogue and religious leaders of the day and begins to form a new people of God.

  • From a Religious System to a Family of Disciples (Mark 3:7-35)

(outline from commentary on Mark by Tim Geddert)

Growing Opposition

  • Questions and  Challenges
    • Teachers of the law – “Why?” (2:6) “Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, 7 ‘Why does this fellow speak in this way? It is blasphemy! Who can forgive sins but God alone?’”
    • Pharisees – “Why?” (2:16) “When the scribes of the Pharisees saw that he was eating with sinners and tax-collectors, they said to his disciples, ‘Why does he eat with tax-collectors and sinners?’”
    • Pharisees – “Why?” (2:24) The Pharisees said to him, ‘Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the sabbath?’
  • Hostility – “Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus …” (3:2)
  • Plots to Destroy – “Then the Pharisees when out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus.” (3:6)
Who’s Listening to Jesus?
  • Large Crowds (3:7)
  • Twelve Apostles (3:12)
  • Crowd & Disciples (3:20)   … crowd seated in a circle around him …” (3:32)
Who’s NOT Listening?
  • Pharisees and Herodians (3:2, 6)
  • Teachers of the Law from Jerusalem (3:22)

Faith Outside Religion:
From Religious System to Family

Jesus in the Synagogue
  • Synagogue the first place of proclamation – Mark 1:21 “ They went to Capernaum; and when the sabbath came, he entered the synagogue and taught.”
    • Mark 1:39 “And he went throughout Galilee, proclaiming the message in their synagogues and casting out demons.”
    • Mark 3:1 “Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there who had a withered hand.”
  • Jesus rejected in the Synagogue in Nazareth – Mark 6:2 “He left that place and came to his home town, and his disciples followed him. 2 On the sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astounded.”
The Final Straw (3:1-6)
  • Jesus’ Question – “Is it lawful to do good or harm on the sabbath, to save life for to kill?”
  • Pharisees’ Response – No answer
  • Jesus’ Reaction – Jesus angry and grieved at their hard hearts
  • Jesus’ Action – Heals on the sabbath
  • Pharisees Reaction – Pharisees and Herodians plot Jesus’ death

God’s New People

He went up the mountain and called to him those whom he wanted, and they came to him. And he appointed twelve, whom he also named apostles, to be with him, and to be sent out to proclaim the message, and to have authority to cast out demons.

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

Jesus’ Family Responds

Then he went to the house; and the crowd came together again, so that they could not even eat. When his family heard it, they went out to restrain him, for people were saying, ‘He has gone out of his mind.’

Then his mother and his brothers came; and standing outside, they sent to him and called him.

Who Is this Guy?

What does Mark say about the identity of Jesus?  What do Jesus’ opponents say?

  • The Messiah
  • The Son of God
  • Healer
  • Liberator
  • Forgiver
  • Lord of the Sabbath
Jerusalem Teachers
  • Possessed by the lord of the demons (Beelzebub
  • In the service of the evil one

Danger of Mistaken Identity

  • And he called them to him, and spoke to them in parables, ‘How can Satan cast out Satan?
  • ‘Truly I tell you, people will be forgiven for their sins and whatever blasphemies they utter …
  • … but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit can never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin’— for they had said, ‘He has an unclean spirit.’

Foolishness of Mistaken Identity

If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but his end has come. But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his property without first tying up the strong man; then indeed the house can be plundered.

Jesus’ Family Responds

Then his mother and his brothers came; and standing outside, they sent to him and called him.

Jesus’s New Family
God’s New People

  • “He appointed twelve so that they might be with him …” (3:14)
  • “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother” (3:34-35)

(Scripture Quotes from NRSVA)