What does Mark 3:32 mean?
ESV: And a crowd was sitting around him, and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers are outside, seeking you.”
NIV: A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, 'Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.'
NASB: And a crowd was sitting around Him, and they *said to Him, 'Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are outside looking for You.'
CSB: A crowd was sitting around him and told him, "Look, your mother, your brothers, and your sisters are outside asking for you."
NLT: There was a crowd sitting around Jesus, and someone said, 'Your mother and your brothers are outside asking for you.'
KJV: And the multitude sat about him, and they said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee.
Scholars have posited many reasons as to why Mary and her sons hope to bring Jesus back to Nazareth (Mark 3:21). One possibility is that they are worried for His health (Mark 3:20) or His safety (Mark 3:9-10). Another is that Jesus' antics in Capernaum and the surrounding area give His brothers a bad reputation. The people in Nazareth do not accept His authority. They've seen Him grow up and know His family. They even call Him a bastard—in that culture, referring to Jesus as "son of Mary" was an insult against His parentage (Mark 6:3). Some consider Him insane (Mark 3:21).
Since Jesus' family is not there to see and hear what is really occurring, one can understand why they'd be concerned about such rumors. The people who see Jesus' healings and hear Him preach have a different take. They want to hear what He has to say. They understand that a prophet is identified by the works God does through him. They have seen or experienced His power to heal and release people from demon possession, and they are eager to know more.
The word translated "outside" is the Greek exo, which means "out" or "away." The problem with Jesus' family isn't that they are outside the physical house, but that they are outside Jesus' influence. Pharisees had sat in that house, listening to Jesus teach, but their hearts were far from Him (Mark 2:1–12). In a similar way, we can go to church or read Christian articles or listen to Christian music all day long yet be far from Jesus. What matters is our heart attitude toward Jesus.
Jesus' family displays a common dichotomy. They are seeking Jesus, but only for their own gain—in this case, to stop Him from stirring up controversy. They're not primarily interested in whether or not His message is true. Presumably they want Him to be easy and unobtrusive, and to stay out of trouble. People today want that, too, but Jesus' followers understand it is we who must adapt to Him. The difference is faith. Hebrews 11:6 promises that God rewards those who seek Jesus in faith. But we must seek Him as He is, not as someone to do our bidding so that our earthly lives are easier.
Mark 3:31–35 is this section's final account of the reactions people have toward Jesus' ministry. Here, Jesus redefines the concept of ''family.'' His mother and brothers, some thinking He is out of His mind, have come to bring Him back to Nazareth (Mark 3:21). In contrast, a large group fills a home, probably Peter and Andrew's, intently listening to Jesus teach. Jesus declares that it is this audience—those who do God's will—who are His family, not the people who are related by blood. This account is also found in Matthew 12:46–50 and Luke 8:19–21.
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.
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.
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 3/1/2024 11:20:32 PM
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