Mark 3

1-5. The withered hand. Mt 12:9-13. Hypocrites and persons who are guilty of great wickedness, are often disposed to find fault with and condemn the friends of God. It is lawful; which was most proper: to do good, as Jesus contemplated, or to do evil, as the Pharisees intended? to save the man's life by removing his disease, or to leave him to die?

They held their peace; no wonder, for they could not answer without condemning themselves.
With anger; holy indignation, just displeasure against their sins, and grief on account of them. Indignation at the sins of men is perfectly consistent with the deepest compassion for their souls; and no opposition or danger from the wicked should hinder us from doing them good, as we have opportunity. The sea; the sea of Galilee.

Judea; the southern and more thickly settled part of the country.
Jerusalem; the chief city.

Idumea; that is, the land of Edom, which was south of Palestine, and was settled by the descendants of Esau. During the Babylonish captivity, they took the south part of Palestine as far as the city of Hebron. This part of the country was afterwards called Idumea, and it is to this that Mark refers.

Beyond Jordan; the east side of that river.

Tyre and Sidon; Mt 11:21.
Unclean spirits; the persons whom evil spirits possessed. Their prostration of themselves before Jesus, and their acknowledgment of him as the Son of God, are ascribed to the unclean spirits, because these acts were done under their impulse. Not make him known; not proclaim him as the Messiah, because the proper time for this had not yet come, nor were they the proper heralds. See note on Mr 1:25. 13-19. The apostles chosen. Mt 10:1-4. Not so much as eat bread; they had no time for their regular meals. His friends; his relations.

Lay hold on him; constrain him to retire from the multitude and take rest.

Beside himself; deranged, because, in their view, he in his labors exceeded all reasonable bounds. That earnestness in the service of God, and that activity and perseverance in doing good which true religion inspires, appear to many to be indications of insanity, and awaken in them solicitude; while equal earnestness in the pursuit of worldly things awakens no such apprehensions, but is viewed with approbation.
22-27. Casting out devils by Beelzebub. Mt 12:24-30. All sins shall be forgiven; their sins are pardonable. They may repent, and on repentance and faith in Christ, receive forgiveness. Hath never forgiveness; he has done despite to the Holy Ghost, the author of all grace. He will never have grace to repent, believe on the Saviour, and receive pardon, but will die impenitent, and perish. See Mt 12:32. He hath an unclean spirit; they said, he is possessed of the devil, and through Satanic influence works these miracles. Thus, by ascribing the work of God's Spirit, Mt 12:28, to Beelzebub, they blasphemed against the Holy Ghost. 31-35. Christ's brethren. Mt 12:46-50.
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