You can download this week’s entire Daily Devotional in booklet form here.
Here Mark continues his account of Jesus’ ministry in the region of Galilee, especially noting how the Jewish religious establishment hated and opposed him.
When Jesus healed a man with a severely handicapped hand in a synagogue, the Pharisees (traditionalist Jewish leaders who did not like Rome) joined forces with the Herodians (Jews who aligned with Rome’s leader, Herod) to destroy Jesus (vv. 1-6).
When Jesus moved to the Sea of Galilee multitudes from throughout Israel sought him out (7-12). Jesus healed many and cast out demons, and though demon-possessed individuals knew and said who Jesus really was, Jesus would not allow them to give such testimony (cf. Psalm 50:16-17).
Jesus then chose from among all who followed him twelve men as his disciples. He trained and sent these out to proclaim throughout Israel that Jesus was Israel’s promised King and Messiah. Jesus gave them the ability to do miracles proving he was the Messiah (vv. 13-19).
As Jesus continued to do miracles—especially casting out demons—the religious leaders said that Jesus was able to cast out demons because he was controlled by Satan (vv. 22, 30). Jesus rebuked their foolish thinking (vv. 23-27) and judged them for their unbelief (vv. 28-30).
Only those who hear, believe, and obey Jesus will be blessed (vv. 31-35).
Truths to Nail Down and Apply
- God’s enemies may not like each other for any number of practical reasons, but they are united in their hatred of and opposition to the Lord.
- The “unpardonable sin” the “blasphemy against the Holy Spirit” was when the Jewish religious leaders believed that Jesus was controlled by Satan, not the Holy Spirit (vv. 22, 29-30).
- Family is important, but they are not as important as hearing, believing, and obeying God’s will (vv. 31-35). Jesus did not let family keep him from doing God’s will.