Mark 3:21 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Mark 3:21, NIV: "When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, 'He is out of his mind.'"

Mark 3:21, ESV: "And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for they were saying, “He is out of his mind.”"

Mark 3:21, KJV: "And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself."

Mark 3:21, NASB: "When His own people heard of this, they went out to take custody of Him; for they were saying, 'He has lost His senses.'"

Mark 3:21, NLT: "When his family heard what was happening, they tried to take him away. 'He's out of his mind,' they said."

Mark 3:21, CSB: "When his family heard this, they set out to restrain him, because they said, "He's out of his mind.""

What does Mark 3:21 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The chain of events that lead Jesus' family to worry about Him is not clear. As is common for literature of the time, the Gospels tend to group passages by theme instead of chronology. As a result, we don't know if Jesus has returned to Nazareth since His ministry started. We do know that people from all over Galilee, Judea, and beyond have come to see Him, and Nazareth is only about twenty miles from Capernaum. In Mark 6:1–6, Jesus will return, just to be rudely rejected by the people in His hometown.

So it's possible that people from Nazareth have gone to Capernaum for healing and returned, shocked to learn that the healer is Jesus. It's also possible that travelers have gone to Capernaum for healing and come back through Nazareth. Either way, the people from Nazareth refuse to believe that a man whom they have watched grow up could be an important prophet, let alone the Messiah. Whereas the scribes believe Jesus is demon-possessed (Mark 3:22), His townsmen think He's crazy.

"Out of his mind" comes from the Greek root word existemi. It means to be mentally displaced. The same word is used when Jesus heals the paralytic (Mark 2:12) and Jairus's daughter (Mark 5:42), and when He calms the storm after walking on water (Mark 6:51). In this case, however, it means that Jesus' actions—seemingly out of control, to His family—can have a serious effect on the wellbeing of His family. So they resolve to find Him and. Most likely, to take Him back to Nazareth.

Jesus has four brothers and at least two sisters (Matthew 13:55–56). Eventually, after the resurrection, at least two of His brothers will accept Him as their savior. James wrote the New Testament book in his name and became the leader of the church in Jerusalem. Jude, author of the New Testament book that bears his name, also became a believer. They and Mary will be with the disciples on Pentecost (Acts 1:14).