Passage: Mark 3:13-35
Guide for Group Discussion or Personal Reflection
Read Mark 3:13-35:
And he went up on the mountain and called to him those whom he desired, and they came to him. 14 And he appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach 15 and have authority to cast out demons. 16 He appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter); 17 James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James (to whom he gave the name Boanerges, that is, Sons of Thunder); 18 Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Zealot, 19 and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. 20 Then he went home, and the crowd gathered again, so that they could not even eat. 21 And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for they were saying, “He is out of his mind.”
22 And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and “by the prince of demons he casts out the demons.” 23 And he called them to him and said to them in parables, “How can Satan cast out Satan? 24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. 26 And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but is coming to an end. 27 But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. Then indeed he may plunder his house. 28 “Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the children of man, and whatever blasphemies they utter, 29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”— 30 for they were saying, “He has an unclean spirit.”
31 And his mother and his brothers came, and standing outside they sent to him and called him. 32 And a crowd was sitting around him, and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers are outside, seeking you.” 33 And he answered them, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” 34 And looking about at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 35 For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.” (ESV)
- In Mark 3:13, Mark says that Jesus “called to him those whom he desired.” Why did Jesus “desire” these twelve men as his apostles?
- “Discipleship does not consist in what the disciples can do for Christ, but in what Christ can make of the disciples.” What is meant by this statement?
- Talk about some of the contrasting personalities within Jesus’s twelve disciples. How did these very different people grow into a close-knit community?
- Note that Jesus called the twelve to two purposes: (1) to be with him and (2) to go out to preach and serve their community. Why is it important for Christ-followers not to do just one or the other of these purposes, but to live out both aspects of this calling? Talk about what happens if we only spend time with Jesus without going out to minister, and what happens if we only focus on going out to serve our community without spending time with Jesus.
- We don’t have to force Jesus into a conversation or situation, because Jesus is already there. Instead we can simply ask Jesus, “What are you trying to give me in this moment and with this person?” What difference does it make in our daily life as disciples, if we have this mindset?
- What does it mean to be sent with the authority that Jesus mentioned in verse 15 as opposed to just our own authority? How we get this authority?
- Both Jesus’s family and the religious leaders thought Jesus was out of his mind. Why?
- Explain the difference between a “bounded-set” view of what God’s family is and a “center-set” view of what God’s family is.
- What was Jesus’s concept of who is in the family of God?
- Our role as Christians is to give the Bible’s answers to questions people are asking in language they can understand with arguments that they can feel the weight of. Give some examples of how you’ve seen God’s people do this.
- How would you explain the key points of this sermon to an unchurched person?