The journey begins, 1:1-5:43

4. True Israel defined, 3:7-35

ii] Satan defeated


"Mark begins by telling us of the anxiety of Jesus' kith and kin about him, goes on to describe the charge of 'black magic' which some Jerusalem scribes brought against him, and after relating the controversy, records Christ's words about his 'real brethren'", Hunter.


In the face of the dawning kingdom, there are those who come to Jesus for blessing, who become family, brothers and sisters, but there are also those who seek to bind this one who does the binding, and so fail to find in him the forgiveness he freely offers.


i] Context: See Mark 3:7-19. The passage before us falls within the opening section of the gospel of Mark, paralleling the commencement of Jesus' ministry with the commencement of Israel's journey from Egypt to the promised land. In the sub-section 3:7-35, Mark defines the true Israel, and it is within this theme that our passage sits.


ii] Structure: The character of Jesus' true family:

Jesus' popularity with the common folk, v20;

Jesus' family think he is deranged, v21;

The religious authorities view Jesus as an agent of Satan, v22;

Sayings on Jesus authority over Satan, v23-30:

#1. "How can Satan cast out Satan", v23;

#2. A house divided cannot stand, v24-26;

#3. A strong man must be bound to plunder his house, v27;

#4. Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, v28-30.

Jesus' true family, v31-35.


Marcus suggests the following chiastic structure:

Jesus' relatives, v20-21

The charge of demonic agency, v23-26

The parable of the Strong Man, v27

Charge of demonic agency, v28-30

Jesus' relatives, v31-35.


iii] Interpretation:

It is now widely accepted that Mark often arranges the received tradition in blocks of three, A1, B, A2. All three episodes have their own point, but together shape a new point. In the Markan sandwich before us, the A1 episode record Jesus in a crowded house, with "his own people" wanting to take charge of him, and then in the A2 episode, Jesus is again in a house surrounded by a crowd, with his family attempting to "call him out." Whereas in the A episodes there are those who would bind Jesus, in the B episode we learn that Jesus is the one who does the binding; "he is the binder of the strong man who is himself unbounded", Edwards. See J.R. Edwards, Markan Sandwiches. Compare 2:1-12, 5:21-43, 6:14-29, 11:12-25, 14:54-72.

The problem with Mark's use of framed stories is that they are not always logical. In Luke's record of the tradition concerning Jesus and Beelzebub, the B element in Mark, the comment of the religious authorities is prompted by Jesus having just cast out a mute demon, Lk.11:14-15. Their comment in Mark 3:22 is discordant with "he is out of his mind", v21. None-the-less, this observation, of itself, indicates that Mark is intent on revealing a particular truth, despite narrative logic.


iv] Synoptics:

Matt.9:32-34, 12:22-32, 46-50; Lk.11:14-23, 17-23, 12:10, 8:19-21. Composed from a number of traditional elements, Mark's narrative logic is evident when his account is compared with Matthew and Luke's treatment of these elements. Note also how Mark still evidences the vivid nature of an eye witness account. Matthean priority is indicated by the treatment of this traditional material, but not proven.


v] Exposition: A simple exposition of this passage can be found in the pew-level sermon notes The character of Jesus' family.

Text - 3:20

The family and its critics, v20-35: i] Mark records the initial enthusiastic response to Jesus ministry, a response which is overwhelming Jesus and his disciples and which prompts a negative reaction from Jesus' family and Israel's religious officials, v20.

eiV + acc. "" - [and he enters, goes] into [a house]. Expressing direction toward and arrival at. The pericope is introduced with a historic / narrative present.

palin adv. "again" - [and the crowd comes together] again. Indicating the continued enthusiasm of the crowd in response to Jesus' ministry, cf.3:7. Possibly again in the same locality (Capernaum ?) at the same house (Peter house ?), so Gundry.

w{ste + inf. "so that" - so that [they were not able]. Introducing a consecutive clause expressing result; "with the result that."

fagein (fagw) aor. inf. "to eat" - to eat [bread]. The infinitive is complementary, completing the sense of the verb "they were [not] able"; the "they" is obviously "Jesus and his disciples", and serves as the accusative subject of the infinitive. The "to eat bread" is an Aramaic expression "for taking food of any sort", Cranfield. "Bread" here may be syntactically classified as a synecdoche where the reference to a part refers to the whole, so "food", or just as the NIV, "they were not able to eat" = "Jesus and his disciples were not even able to share a meal together." "it was impossible for them to even eat a meal", Barclay. Emphasising Jesus "attractive power", Gundry.


ii] Jesus' popularity is causing some concern with "his own people", v21. Both Taylor and Cranfield note that the response of Jesus' family could never be invented; "Mark's frankness in impressive", Cranfield.

akousanteV (akouw) aor. part. "when [his family] heard about this" - [and] having heard. The participle is adverbial, probably temporal, as NIV.

oiJ par autou "his family" - those from beside him. Classical oiJ para + dat. = "those of someone's household", but in Koine Gk. it is, as here, + gen., but takes much the same meaning. The article oiJ serves as a nominalizer turning the prepositional phrase "from beside him" into a substantive; "the ones from beside him" = "his family". This phrase may just refer to Jesus' family friends, or his relatives, or to his immediate family; "his mother and his brothers." We know that Jesus' kin did not at first believe in his messiahship. None-the-less, it seems likely that Mark is being deliberately vague so they could even be fair-weather disciples. Unlike "the ones around him sitting in a circle" who are happily bound to the messianic family, these "his own people" seek to bind the binder of the strong man. Not a good idea!

krathsai (kratew) aor. inf. "to take charge" - [went out] to seize hold of [him]. The infinitive is adverbial, final, introducing a purpose clause; "they came out [from their home to the house Jesus was staying] in order to get hold of him / restrain him." Possibly "to calm down", although the verb is far too strong to give this meaning.

gar "for" - because. Introducing a causal clause explaining why they wanted to take charge of him.

elegon (legw) imperf. "they said" - they were saying. Possibly an impersonal plural where this was said of Jesus, which rumour family members had heard about; "for men were saying", Moffatt, although probably just "a scholarly attempt to protect the family", Marcus.

oJti "-" - that. Introducing a dependent statement of direct speech / stating, expressing what the family said.

exesth (existhmi) aor. "he is out of his mind" - he has stood outside = is confused, lost his senses. The aorist is best treated as dramatic, expressing a present state. "He must be in the grip of some kind of emotional frenzy", Junkins, or possibly with the more sinister connotation, "he has a demon and is insane", cf., John 10:20. This would better fit with the comment of the religious authorities, v22.


iii] The religious authorities investigate the situation and make their judgment in the strongest terms; "He is possessed", v22.

oiJ grammateiV (euV ewV) "the teachers of the law" - [and] the scribes. The word was originally used of those who simply copied the scriptures, a kind of human printing press, but by this time, they were regarded as authorised interpreters, teaches of the scriptures, so "experts in the law", Barclay. That they came from Jerusalem, gives them even greater authority.

oiJ .... katabanteV (katabainw) aor. part. "who came down" - the ones having come down. The participle is adjectival, attributive, limiting "scribes", "the scribes who had come down from Jerusalem", Moffatt. Coming down in height terms, but also coming down from the superior to the the great unwashed.

apo + gen. "from" - from [jerusalem]. Expressing source / origin.

elegon (legw) imperf. "said" - were saying. Possibly an inceptive imperfect, "began to say."

oJti "-" - that. Introducing a dependent statement of direct speech; "said that ....", and is followed up by a second example, "and said that ....."

Beelzeboul "Beelzebub" - [he has] beelzebul. Aramaic: "lord of the house, temple / lord of the dung, flies, carrion" from the Syrian original "Lord Ekron", 2King.1:2. It would seem that "Beelzebub" and "the prince of demons", both refer to "Satan" (so Edwards), although possibly "the prince of demons" refers to a superior evil spirit. This may imply that Beelzebub also is a title for a superior demon-prince, particularly as there is no reference to Satan being called Beelzebub (so Gundry).

en + dat. "by" - [and that] by. Instrumental, expressing means, is common for this preposition, agency, as here, less so, although it may be instrumental if "by the power of" is assumed.

twn daimoniwn (on) gen. "[the prince] of demons" - [the ruler] of demon [he casts out demons]. The genitive is adjectival, idiomatic, of subordination; "by the ruler over the demons."


iv] In a series of sayings, Mark has Jesus answering the charge that he is acting under the power of Satan, v23-30. The first saying counters this charge, although it requires some expansion to make sense; "(If I really cast out demons by the power of the prince of demons, then it must mean that Satan is actually casting out Satan, but) how can Satan cast out Satan?" Cranfield, v23. The next saying is introduced by two illustrations supporting the point that if Satan has moved against himself then he is finished, v24-26. In the next saying Jesus identifies the correct conclusion to be drawn from his miraculous works, particularly exorcisms, namely that Satan, the "strong man", is, at least to some degree, "bound" and unable to resist the ministry of Jesus, v27. The final saying, along with its explanation, links the sin against the Holy Spirit with the assessment that Jesus is a disciple of the prince of demons. Anyone who makes such an assessment is lost, v28-30.

The sayings present as a series of stitched independent sayings assembled by Mark to address the issues raised in the two surrounding family-focused episodes / pericopes, 3:20-22, and 3:31-35. Of course Mark may be recording a complete discourse given by Jesus at the time, or even a set of already assembled sayings. Whatever the case, there is little bearing on interpretation, and certainly none on inspiration. See Taylor who argues that v27 (cf. Lk.11:21) at least is a stitched independent saying.


Introduction, v23a. Illustrative sayings on the assessment that Jesus is a disciple of the prince of demons.

proskalesamenoV (proskalew) aor. part. "so [Jesus] called [them]" - having summoned, called [them]. Attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the verb "he was speaking"; "and he summoned them and spoke to them." Possibly adverbial, temporal; "after Jesus called them."

elegen (legw) imperf. "he began to speak" - he was speaking. The NIV has taken the imperfect as inceptive, but Mark may just intend a durative action, "he was speaking to them in parables."

autoiV dat. pro. "to them" - to them. Dative of indirect object.

en + dat. "in" - in, on. Probably instrumental, expressing means; "by having recourse to figurative language", Cassirer.

parabolaiV (h) dat. "parables" - parables. The word is used of: allegories, eg., the parable of the sower; of riddles (marsal), eg., "the kingdom of heaven is like unto ..." = kingdom parables / a hidden gospel message; of illustrations, figurative teaching, eg., The parable of the tenants in the vineyard, Matt.21:33-46; and of illustrative sayings, as here of a "picturesque and allusive maxim", Taylor.


Saying #1. It is illogical to suggest that Satan would go to war with Satan.

pwV adv. "how" - how. Here introducing a dependent statement of direct speech / question, "how ...?".

ekballein (ekballw) pres. inf. "drive out" - [is able = is it possible for satan] to cast out [satan]? The infinitive is complementary, completing the sense of the verb "is able"; "how is Satan able to eject Satan?" In Hebrew "Satan" is known as "the Adversary."


Saying #2. "A nation set upon civil war is unable to survive."

kai "-" - and. Here possibly taking the Semitic causal sense, "for", so Gundry, Cranfield. "How is it possible for Satan to expel Satan? For if civil war breaks out in a kingdom nothing can make that kingdom last", Weymouth. At the least it is a Markan stitching device.

ean + subj. "if" - if [a kingdom is divided]. Introducing a conditional clause 3rd class, where the proposed condition has the possibility of coming true; "if, as may be the case, ...... then ..." "Kingdom" in the terms of a political entity.

ef (epi) + acc. "against" - over, upon, on [itself]. Spatial; "upon itself", here with the sense "against itself.

staqhnai (iJsthmi) aor. pas. inf. "[cannot] stand" - [is not able] to stand. The infinitive is complementary, completing the sense of the verb "is [not] able."


"And if there are internal divisions in a household, it is impossible that such a household should stand firm", Cassirer. For the syntax, see v24.

oikia (a) - "a house" - Used in the sense of a "family", or "household".


"If Satan has geared up to do battle against himself, he will destroy himself and bring his kingdom to an end", Junkins.

ei + ind. "if" - [and] if. Introducing a conditional clause 1st. class, where the proposed condition is assumed to be true; "if, as is the case, ...... then ...." The conditional clauses in v24 and 25, being 3rd. class, propose a future possibility, whereas here, the 1st. class conditional clause proposes a truth, although in this instant, for argument sake. Given that Satan's reign has not yet ended, Jesus is employing an argument that is observably untrue. "In other words, the argument has shifted from the hypothetical to the assumption that Satan has indeed not risen up against himself", Guelich.

ef (epi) + acc. "opposes" - [satan stood up] against [himself]. Spatial, here expressing opposition.

emerisqh (merizw) aor. pas. "is divided" - [and] was divided. "And if he is split against himself", Barclay.

sthnai (iJsthmi) aor. inf. "[he cannot] stand" - [then he is not able] to stand. The infinitive is complementary, completing the sense of "is not able."

alla "-" - but [he has an end]. Adversative in a counterpoint construction; "he cannot last, but ends", Berkeley. "He is done for", Manson, although better, "he is at his end", Gundry, rather than "finished".


Saying #3. There is, of course, another way of reading Jesus' miraculous healings and exorcisms. "If God is to rule, Satan the 'strong man' must be bound. Jesus is not only the herald of the dawning kingdom, but in some sense its agent, the 'stronger one' announced by the Baptist, cf., 1:7", Boring.

alla "in fact" - but. Adversative, here introducing a counter argument; "on the contrary", TH.

ou .... oudeiV ..... mh "no one" - no [one is] not [able]. An emphatic double negative construction. The piling up of negations stresses the point that it is impossible to set Satan's captives free without first disabling Satan. oudeiV, "no one", serves as the subject of dunatai, "is able."

eiselqwn (eisercomai) aor. part. "enter" - having entered. The participle may be adverbial, temporal, possibly attendant circumstance, expressing action accompanying the complementary infinitive "to plunder", "no one is able to enter into the house of a strong man and to plunder his property unless ....", or even adjectival, attributive, "no one who enters a strong mans house is able to plunder his goods ...."

tou iscurou gen. adj. "the strong man's [house]" - [the house] of the strong, mighty man [to plunder the possessions of him]. The adjective serves as a substantive, the genitive being adjectival, possessive.

ean mh + subj. "unless / without [first]" - unless [first]. Introducing an exceptive clause expressing a contrast by designation an exception, as NIV.

dhsh/ (dew) aor. subj. "[he] ties up / tying [him] up" - he may bind. The binding of Satan is an interesting sub-issue and something often practised today in various forms. As far as the NT is concerned, Satan is both "bound / defeated" and at the same time strolling around like a roaring lion - another example of the now/not yet reality of the kingdom.

ton iscuron gen. adj. "the strong man" - the strong man. Accusative direct object of the verb "to bind." The substantival articular adjective is often treated as indefinite, "a strong man", citing Aramaic form, although Mark does probably have in mind "the strong man" = Satan.

tote "then" - then. Consequential in time terms; "then what follows is that ....." The logic of the argument is as follows: "if someone ties up a strong man he is able to carry off his possessions. Given that a stronger man than Satan has come, has entered his house, and has bound him, then he will plunder his house, as you can well see."

diarpasei (diarpazw) fut. "he can rob" - he will rob, plunder [the house of him]. Note the stress on actuality, "he will rob the house."


Saying #4. This next saying, followed in v30 by a word of explanation, serves as a warning to those who conclude that Jesus is an agent of darkness, rather than light; an agent of the prince of demons, Satan, rather than an agent of God. Addressing the issue of slander ("blasphemies"), Jesus makes the point that we can be forgiven all sort of sinful slanders, except a slander against the Holy Spirit; see v29.

uJmin "[I tell] you [the truth]" - [truly i say] to you. Dative of indirect object. Serving to introduce a statement that "is firm and binding", Cranfield. "I give you solemn assurance of this", Cassirer.

oJti "-" - that. Introducing a dependent statement of indirect speech expressing what Jesus has to say; "I say to you that ....."

panta adj. "all" - all [the sins]. Luke has paV oJV, "everyone who". Probably "all" modifies "sins"; "the sons of men shall be forgiven all their sins and all the blasphemes they may utter", Moffatt. On the other hand, it is possible that "all = everythig" may serve as the subject of "will be forgiven", with "the sins and the blasphemies" in apposition to "all"; "everything will be forgiven mankind, their sins and their blasphemies." "Men will be forgiven for everything, for all their sins and their insults to God", Barclay. Cf., TH. At least we can say, on the basis of Jesus words, that forgiveness is available to all humanity for all the sins that they have committed, except .....

aiJ blasfhmiai (a) "blasphemies / [every] slander they utter" - [even] the blasphemies. Meaning "to slander / to defame", often in reference to God; "as of words spoken directly or indirectly against God", Guelich, "of infractions against the true God", Edwards. Yet, it is possible that a more general sense is intended, so "slander" as such. It seems likely that "the sins and the slanders" is a hendiadys where a single idea is being expressed, so Gundry; "sinful slander."

o{sa ean + subj. "-" - as if = whatever, however [they may blaspheme]. Introducing an indefinite clause; "however often they utter blasphemies", TH. Agreeing with "sins", ie. neut. so "however many sins they may blaspheme"; "however many sins they commit by slandering", Gundry.

toiV uiJoiV twn anqrwpwn "of men / people" - [will be forgiven] the sons of men. The dative toiV uiJoiV, "the sons", is a dative of direct object (afihmi, "forgive", takes a dative of persons), while the genitive twn anqrwpwn, "of men", is adjectival, relational. A Semitic phrase like this, which denotes humanity in general, reminds us how easily Jesus' self designation "the Son of Man" was missed as a messianic title. "All the sins the sons of men commit, and all the blasphemies they utter, are pardonable", Berkeley. Note, as is sometimes the case, a plural neuter subject will take a singular verb, as here. Possibly modal, so "may be forgiven", Zerwick; "people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter", TNIV.


Scribal tradition states that "The Holy One, blessed be he, pardons everything else, but on profanation of the Name, he takes vengeance immediately." Much soul-searching surrounds this passage, but the context defines clearly what "blasphemy against the Holy Spirit" is, namely, a blind determination to deny the divine presence in the person and work of Jesus, concluding that he is a mere mortal, and a bad / mad one at that. The scribes slander God by calling Jesus an agent of Beelzebub. Yet, the issue is not that Jesus was slandered as such, but rather that the slander evidences a rejection of Jesus as the Christ, messiah. To reject the kingdom of God in the person of Jesus, to reject his words and signs, is to reject God's free offer of salvation. Such rejection brings condemnation and eternal loss. Of course, this rejection, as Calvin argues, is in the terms of a fixed attitude of mind. Jesus' family thought he had a demon and for some time they did not accept that he was Israel's messiah, yet they came to belief, and so were not "guilty of an eternal sin." So, the "unpardonable sin" is the "culpable rejection of, or refusal to recognise, God's redemptive activity", Guelich, a rejection of God's comprehensive offer of amnesty and forgiveness in Jesus, so Grundmann, cf., Ex.23:30-31.

d (de) "but" - but/and. Transitional, indicating a step in the argument, here to a counterpoint.

o}V ... an + subj. "whoever" - who if = whoever. Introducing a relative conditional clause, 3rd. class, where the condition has the possibility of coming true; "whoever, as the case may be, slanders the Holy Spirit, then they will never be forgiven."

eiV "against" - [blasphemes] to, into [the holy spirit]. Expressing reference / respect, "with respect to the Holy Spirit, or probably better disadvantage, here opposition with hostile intent, "against", BAGD.

eiV ton aiwna "never [be forgiven]" - [does not have forgiveness] into the age. Idiomatic Semitic phrase, "forever"; he will never be forgiven forever", Barclay. The verb "will never" reflects the durative sense of present tense of the negated verb ecei, "does not have" = "will never have."

aJmarthmatoV (a) gen. "of [an eternal] sin" - [but is guilty] of [eternal] sin. The genitive is adjectival, epexegetic / of definition, denoting the crime of which the person is enocoV, "liable / answerable / guilty."

aiwniou gen. adj. "eternal" - Attributive adjective, genitive in agreement with "sin", a sin which is eternal. Variants exist with "eternal judgment", given that "eternal sin" is a rather strange concept. The adjective "eternal" probably limits the sin to a sin which is eternal in consequence, ie., it cannot be forgiven. Possibly "he is absolutely certain to hear himself condemned to Hell when he stands before God, in judgment, at the end of his life", Junkins, ie. "sin with an eternal consequence", Edwards.


oJti "because" - because [they were saying]. Here probably introducing a causal clause explaining why they were guilty of an eternal sin. The verse is somewhat elliptic (for brevity words are omitted); "it was on account of their saying that he was possessed of a tarnished spirit that he spoke like this", Cassirer. Note the imperfect elegon,"they were saying", which may be iterative, expressing repeated action, possibly highlighting the nature of the "unpardonable sin", namely, ongoing rejection. It is though important to remember that the imperfect is often used for speech seeing it entails a flow of words.

pneuma akarqarton "an evil spirit" - [he has] an unclean spirit. A slightly more specific negative assessment of Jesus' person.


v] Mark now refocuses on Jesus' family, this time their desire to "take charge of him", v31-35. Mark has compared the disciples with both the scribes and Jesus' relatives. Those who consider that Jesus is an agent of the Devil face the prospect of becoming the eternally unforgiven; the disciples, on the other hand, who do God's will, face the joyous prospect of membership in Jesus' true family, the family of God.

kai "then" - and. Here likely to be transitional; "then".

ercetai (ercomai) pres. "arrived" - [and the mother of him and the brothers of him] came. Historic / narrative present tense; often the present tense is used to commence a new narrative discourse.

sthkonteV (iJsthmi) pres. part. "standing" - standing. Best classified as an attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the verb apesteilan, "they sent"; "they stood outside and sent someone ..." It may also be treated as adverbial, temporal, "while / as they stood outside they sent ..", or modal, expressing manner, as NIV. The participle may also be taken to attend ercetai, "he came"; "Jesus' mother and brothers came and stood outside", Barclay.

exw adv. "outside" - out, outside. Adverb of place. Presumably Jesus is inside a home, although it is not stated.

kalounteV (kalew) pres. part. "to call" - [they sent to him] calling [him]. The participle is probably adverbial, final, expressing purpose; "they sent someone to him in order to call him." "They sent a message to him (in order) to ask him to come out and see them", Barclay.


peri + acc. "around [him]" - [and a crowd were sitting] around, near him. Spatial.

legousin (legw) pres. "they told" - [and] they were saying. In the sense that "the message is passed one to another until it reaches Jesus", Swete.

autw/ dat. pro. "him" - to him. Dative of indirect object.

ai adelfao "and your sisters" - [behold, the mother of you and the brothers of you and] the sisters of you. Nominative subject of the verb "to seek." The shorter reading without the variant "the sister of you" is to be preferred. Metzger regards it as an unreliable Western mechanical expansion. That the brothers and sisters of Jesus are biologically related to him, does not impinge on Mary's saintly character, nor the divinity of Jesus, but none-the-less, some segments of the Christian church hold that this reference is to relatives and not biological brothers and sisters.

exw adv. "are outside" - are outside [looking for you]. Adverb of place. The adverb is normally taken with "mother and brothers", as NIV, but probably it should be taken with the verb "are looking for / seeking"; "your mother and your brothers are wanting you outside", cf., Moffatt.


apokriqeiV (apokrinomai) aor. pas. part. "[he asked]" - [and] having answered [he says]. Semitic idiom, redundant, but technically classified as attendant circumstance, or adverbial, modal. The passive is middle-passive, where the passive voice expresses a Gk. middle sense involving intercommunication. "Who is my mother and who are my brothers?", Cassirer.

autoiV dat. pro. "-" - to them [who is the mother of me and the brothers of me]? Dative of indirect object.


Jesus defines his true family. "His gaze swept round the circle of people sitting around him. 'See!' he said, 'my mother and my brothers'", Barclay. The family members have not included "father" as Joseph had obviously died well before the commencement of Jesus' ministry. Yet, Jesus continues the family description without "father", since the father of this new family of brothers is God himself. This statement does not sever filial relationships, well illustrated when Jesus, on the cross, gave John the care of his mother, Mary. Yet, in the terms of eternity, there is one family that supersedes all others.

peribleyamenoV (periblepw) aor. part. "Then he looked at" - [and] having looked about to. The participle is adverbial,best taken as temporal, as NIV.

touV .... kaqhmenouV (kaqhmai) pres. part. "those seated" - the ones sitting. The participle serves as a substantive.

kuklw/ adv. "in a circle" - in a circle. This dative form of kukloV, "circle", serves as an adverb of place with the sense "in a circle."

peri + acc. "around" - around, near [him]. Spatial.

legei (legw) pres. "said" - he says. Historic / narrative present tense, as NIV.

ide "Here are" - behold [the mother of me and the brothers of me]. Interjection.


Jesus now explains how a person gains membership of his true family, the new community, the new Israel, the people of God. "While Mark does not prescribe or legally define what 'doing the will of God' means, the macro-narrative makes it clear that it must be related to repentance in response to Jesus' proclamation of the kingdom", Boring. Sadly, Boring adds "and the command to love God and neighbour." This trust and obey doctrine is common in Christian circles and has much to answer!!! Respect toward God and the love of neighbour, is the fruit of faith, and is not an associate requirement for salvation. The call of the gospel to do "God's will" is a call to "repent and believe", not "repent, believe and obey the ten commandments."

gar "for" - because. Introducing a causal clause explaining why those sitting around Jesus are family. This variant only has limited support, but if it is original, it helps us understand what Jesus means by "whoever does the will of God." Jesus has declared that those sitting around him listening to his word, certainly supporters, probably disciples, are his family "because" those who do the will of God are members of Christ's family. As noted above, the will of God that realises membership in Jesus' eternal family, the kingdom of God, entails repentance and belief, namely, the act of turning to God, and the act of depending on God's divine man, Jesus, the Christ, for salvation. Mark gives us no evidential work of obedience other than that the disciples are sitting under Jesus' teaching ministry, that they are looking to Jesus, trusting Jesus, and of such is the will of God.

o}V an + subj. "whoever" - whoever. Introducing a relative conditional clause, 3rd. class where the condition has the possibility of coming true; "whoever, as the case may be, does the will of God, then this one is my brother and sister and mother."

tou qeou (oV) gen. "God's [will]" - [does the will] of god. The genitive is adjectival, possessive, but can also be classified as verbal, subjective.

ou|toV "-" - this one [is brother of me, and sister, and mother]. This pronoun serves as a substantive, nominative subject of the verb to-be. Gundry notes that in dropping the definite articles for brother, sister and mother, Mark "adds emphasis to the new relationships by stressing their quality."


Mark Introduction



[Pumpkin Cottage]