(Study Outline sourced from “The System Bible Study” – “The Book of Life” [Zondervan])
8. CHRIST’S SECOND GALILEAN TOUR COMMENCES
“….. Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, and also some women ……”
Jesus begins a second tour of the Galilean villages “proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God.” and on this tour He and the twelve disciples are accompanied by a band of women who were “helping to support them out of their own means” . Neither Jesus nor His disciples were supported from the work of miracles that Jesus performed, their temporal needs were always cared for by faithful women, and here we see that this caring was now extended to their travels. This practice has come down to us in the present time as churches and individuals support the missionaries who devote their time and effort to the preaching of the good news of salvation to the furtherance of God’s kingdom .
Our giving to God and to His servants should be characteristic of these women who gave of themselves and their substance out of a genuine love for Christ resulting from what He had done for them, an example is Mary (not to be confused with the sinful woman of chapter 7 or Mary of Bethany [Jn. 11:1]) “from whom seven demons had come out” , most of these women were outcast of their society and were delivered from their sins by Jesus “…- for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little.” .
(1) A Second Blasphemous Accusation in Galilee And Christ’s Defence
“Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, …… But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Jesus and His disciples had entered a house possibly to rest and to eat; when, according to Matthew’s account, a blind and mute demon-possessed man was brought to Jesus and Jesus healed him. This healing was recognized by the people as the work of the promised prophet (by Moses) and they questioned “Could this be the Son of David”, which caused the visiting Pharisees to express to themselves “It is only by Beelzebub”the prince of demons or Satan, that Jesus had performed this miracle . Jesus, “knew their thoughts” and speaks a parable to them in which He raises the question “How can Satan drive out Satan” – the only possible way is that Satan would be opposing himself and therefore his kingdom is divided; furthermore, how could an intruder enter the house of a mighty and powerful man (“strong man”) to take his possessions without first binding the hands and feet of the strong man – this was essentially what Jesus had done when He healed the demon-possessed man. If Jesus had cast out the demon by Beelzebub, then by whose power did the Pharisees cast out demons? Jesus was indicating that only a greater power than Satan is able to free those whom Satan has enslaved.
Jesus continued His defence by saying “He who is not with me is against me” which was directed to the Pharisees, and any others, who oppose His ministry with blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, for He says that “every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven” because anyone who attributes the miraculous powers of Jesus, done in the power of the Spirit to Satan, has committed the “unpardonable sin” . Therefore, “out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks” and on the day of judgment we will all have to give account “for every careless word” spoken; our words will either acquit us or condemn us .
It should be noted that in the account of Mark 3:21 where he states that “When his family heard about this…..they said, ‘He is out of his mind’”, which may have been in reference to Jesus’ hectic schedule, they decided to “take charge of Him”; they did not arrive in the town where He was until after this encounter between Jesus and the Pharisees .
(2) Christ Refuses To Give A Sign To The Scribes And Pharisees
“Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, “Teacher, we want to see a miraculous sign from you.” He answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.”
“we want to see a miraculous sign” – miraculous signs or fulfillment of predictions were signs of a prophet, and Moses addressed this by referring to both false and true prophets . The unfortunate situation that arose for the nation of Israel is that in their later history they preferred to listen to the words and predictions of all the false prophets, and this led to their false religions and their eventual downfall as a nation. Thus, Jesus’ response “A wicked and adulterous generation” was a description of their present condition in that they had departed from God (“their husband” ) following strange gods, and now seek a sign from the last and final messenger that God has sent to them; Jesus declaring that no further sign will be given to the nation ; they already had all the necessary signs, and Jesus refers to the signs of Jonah and the “Queen of the South” – the citizens of Nineveh repented after hearing the words of Jonah, and the Queen after hearing the wisdom of Solomon, but the Jews would not listen to the words of Jesus who is “greater”than Jonah and Solomon. Because of their spiritual prostitution their condition is now critical “worse than the first” for evil spirits are now controlling them, and the ignored signs have brought predicted results, .
It is therefore imperative that our lives must be filled and satisfied spiritually, children of God must be satisfied by God and the things that relate to God, a person that has accepted God’s salvation but fails to be under the control of the Holy Spirit is open to the control of evil .
(3) Christ’s Mother And Brothers Come To Take Him Home
“My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice.”
Our purpose in life is to hear God’s Word and put it into practice in our daily living, so as to glorify His Name in all that we think, do, and say ; “Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” ; “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” .