What does Mark 3:15 mean?
ESV: and have authority to cast out demons.
NIV: and to have authority to drive out demons.
NASB: and to have authority to cast out the demons.
CSB: and to have authority to drive out demons.
NLT: giving them authority to cast out demons.
KJV: And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils:
NKJV: and to have power to heal sicknesses and to cast out demons:
Verse Commentary:
Casting out demons is a significant part of Jesus' ministry. It shows compassion for people who are suffering, but also validates that His teaching is of God. The apostles' authority is partially dependent on their faith. In Mark 9:14–29, the disciples are unable to free a boy from demonic possession. Jesus first scolds the disciples for their lack of faith, and then tells them that some demons can only be expelled by prayer.

It is unclear how big a part demon exorcism is meant to play in modern evangelism. A conservative view is preferable because of the very real threat of abuse. Too many Christian circles consider every illness, sin, and run of bad experiences to be caused by direct demonic involvement. It is abuse to subject people to "exorcisms" when they have a very real need of doctors, counselors, or just job training. We can functionally "cast out demons" without exorcising. Speaking truth does very real damage to Satan's work. Truth will free people from bonds of sin—both their own and others (John 8:31–32).

Authority, from the Greek root word exousia, means to have the power to make decisions for oneself or others. God has authority over us because He made us (Romans 9:21). Eventually, the disciples will allow God's power to move through them in a way that gives them power to choose what demons will do (Acts 16:16–18).
Verse Context:
Mark 3:13–21 is the third story about the reactions people had to Jesus' ministry. Here, we establish which men Jesus chooses to be in His inner circle. Jesus separates ''the twelve'' for special training so they can be equipped to heal (Matthew 10:1), cast out demons, and spread the gospel. Other than Peter's mother-in-law (Mark 1:30–31), there is no record that Jesus performed miracles of healing for them. But they have witnessed Jesus' power and authority, and are willing to dedicate themselves to His teaching. This is a stark contrast to Jesus' own family. This account is also recorded in Matthew 10:1–4 and Luke 6:12–16.
Chapter Summary:
The bulk of chapter 3 deals with how different people react to Jesus' teaching and His assumption of authority. The Pharisees' confusion transitions into plotting. The crowds that continually follow Jesus for healing become more frenetic and dangerous. Jesus' own family, afraid for His sanity, try to pull Him away. But true followers also show themselves. Twelve join together to become a core group, while a slightly bigger crowd, more interested in Jesus' teaching than miracles, earn the honor of being called His true family.
Chapter Context:
Mark chapter 3 continues in the same pattern as chapter 2, describing various teaching and healing encounters from the life of Jesus. These events are used to explain Jesus' overall message and demonstrate His power. They also serve to show how different people react to His teachings. Chapter 4 will focus more on Jesus' parables.
Book Summary:
The Gospel of Mark emphasizes both Jesus' servanthood and His role as the promised Messiah: the Son of God. This is done through a concise, action-packed style. Mark provides relatively few details, instead focusing on actions and simple statements. This relates to the Gospel's authorship, which is believed to be based on the memories of the apostle Peter. These include many of Jesus' miracles, in contrast to other Gospels which include many more of Jesus' teachings and parables. Mark also makes frequent mention of Jesus' ministry being misunderstood by others.
Accessed 5/30/2024 6:50:53 AM
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