Mark 3

* The withered hand healed. (1-5) The people resort to Christ.

(6-12) The apostles called. (13-21) The blasphemy of the

scribes. (22-30) Christ's relatives. (31-35)

1-5 This man's case was piteous; he had a withered hand, which

disabled him from working for his living; and those that are so,

are the most proper objects of charity. Let those be helped that

cannot help themselves. But stubborn infidels, when they can say

nothing against the truth, yet will not yield. We hear what is

said amiss, and see what is done amiss; but Christ looks at the

root of bitterness in the heart, the blindness and hardness of

that, and is grieved. Let hard-hearted sinners tremble to think

of the anger with which he will look upon them shortly, when the

day of his wrath comes. The great healing day now is the

sabbath, and the healing place the house of prayer; but the

healing power is of Christ. The gospel command is like that

recorded here: though our hands are withered, yet, if we will

not stretch them out, it is our own fault that we are not

healed. But if we are healed, Christ, his power and grace, must

have all the glory.
6-12 All our sicknesses and calamities spring from the anger of

God against our sins. Their removal, or the making them

blessings to us, was purchased to us by the blood of Christ. But

the plagues and diseases of our souls, of our hearts, are

chiefly to be dreaded; and He can heal them also by a word. May

more and more press to Christ to be healed of these plagues, and

to be delivered from the enemies of their souls.
13-21 Christ calls whom he will; for his grace is his own. He

had called the apostles to separate themselves from the crowd,

and they came unto him. He now gave them power to heal

sicknesses, and to cast out devils. May the Lord send forth more

and more of those who have been with him, and have learned of

him to preach his gospel, to be instruments in his blessed work.

Those whose hearts are enlarged in the work of God, can easily

bear with what is inconvenient to themselves, and will rather

lose a meal than an opportunity of doing good. Those who go on

with zeal in the work of God, must expect hinderances, both from

the hatred of enemies, and mistaken affections of friends, and

need to guard against both.
22-30 It was plain that the doctrine of Christ had a direct

tendency to break the devil's power; and it was as plain, that

casting of him out of the bodies of people, confirmed that

doctrine; therefore Satan could not support such a design.

Christ gave an awful warning against speaking such dangerous

words. It is true the gospel promises, because Christ has

purchased, forgiveness for the greatest sins and sinners; but by

this sin, they would oppose the gifts of the Holy Ghost after

Christ's ascension. Such is the enmity of the heart, that

unconverted men pretend believers are doing Satan's work, when

sinners are brought to repentance and newness of life.
31-35 It is a great comfort to all true Christians, that they

are dearer to Christ than mother, brother, or sister as such,

merely as relations in the flesh would have been, even had they

been holy. Blessed be God, this great and gracious privilege is

ours even now; for though Christ's bodily presence cannot be

enjoyed by us, his spiritual presence is not denied us.
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