In today’s reading and study in the Gospel of Mark, chapter 3, we see Jesus encountering several entities whose interaction with him determine what he says and where he goes and with whom he goes.
In the previous chapter, we learned in verse 1 that Jesus is in the house! That’s a wonderful declaration to make each and every day when we wake up!
As Jesus goes about, he is preaching God’s Word and healing all sicknesses and casting out devils. He’s also attracting the critics among the religious groups.
In Mark 3, we see that Jesus enters a synagogue on the sabbath (remember, Jesus is a Jew) and sees a man there with a withered hand.
The religious leaders, the Pharisees, were watching to see if Jesus would heal on the sabbath; something they thought was a violation worthy of death.
Jesus questioned them and said, “Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath, or to do evil; to save life or to kill?” His enemies couldn’t say anything.
Would they say Jesus is an agent of God or of Satan? Let’ read on.
Jesus healed the man’s hand. Jesus goes on in the chapter to heal many, casting out devils and preaching the gospel.
Though Jesus had many following him, he chose 12 to be with him and do what he’s doing. Although he only ordained twelve, there were some faithful ones who stayed with the thirteen (including Jesus).
Can we agree here that he intended all to be an agent of God? Yet, we learn that an agent of Satan, Judas Iscariot, was among the original twelve.
As we read in Acts 1, we see where two were being considered replacements for Judas Iscariot, the betrayer. It said that they were “with them from the beginning.” (v.20-26)
Later, Jesus is casting out devils and healing all manner of sickness from the multitude of people. The Pharisees and scribes accuse Jesus of operating, not out of the power of the Holy Spirit, but rather from the prince of demons, Beelzebub. These were clearly labeling Jesus as an agent of Satan rather than an agent of God.
Religion accuses the agent of God as being an agent of Satan
It’s bad enough that they reject the miraculous work of God through Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit, but to attribute the work to the power of Satan is “unforgivable!”
News of Jesus’ ministering there in Capernaum reaches back to his hometown of Nazareth where his boyhood friends and his family come with the intention of taking him back home. His friends think Jesus has lost his mind. Who would we say were acting as an Agent of God, or agent of Satan?
His mother and his brothers try to interfere with Jesus’ preaching to the multitude asking for him to come out. Surely, we would have to infer that Mary, the mother of Jesus was acting as an agent of God, right?
Though a particular religious group of our current day regards Mary as still a virgin and equal in status to the eternal Godhead, the truth of the Scriptures do not bear out this presupposition. Jesus had brothers and sisters. Mary was just an ordinary woman and mother in Israel.
Jesus closes the chapter with the declaration,
“Those who do the will of God, the same is my brother, and sister and mother.” (v. 35)
Here, we see that the agent of God was outnumbered from the agents of Satan. Many followed Jesus because they saw the miracles and wanted to be entertained by that alone. Others, as we saw earlier, are only to criticize and complain and argue.
These same ones later will try and disrupt the service God was using Jesus to perform. Jesus was steadfast in his purpose for being on the earth – to seek and to save that which was lost to Satan.
As our example, we see Jesus do the following:
- Preach the Word, heal all manner of sicknesses and diseases and cast out devils
- Expose the shortcomings of the religious with regard to showing mercy and compassion
- Binding Satan as the strong man in order to “spoil his house.”
- Setting his focus on his true relations (spiritually) versus earthly
- Ordaining 12 to help in ministry
My exhortation to you today is to be an agent of God
Do what He has called and ordained you to do. Just as the first thing Jesus said he wanted the twelve to do was “be with Him,” even so we must strive daily to “be with Him.”
As we daily accompany Jesus in our walk by faith, we must take up His pure Word and study it as if He is speaking it just to and around us. Let’s learn to speak as He spoke.
Also, let’s allow Jesus to use us to heal all sickness and disease, cast out devils and preach the word despite the opposition from family, friends and religion. Let’s each strive to be an agent of God!
If you liked this, leave a comment. Also, check out my post on how I pray. Thanks.