Sermon #9                                                                 Series: Mark


          Title:           WATCH HIM

          Text:           Mark 3:1-35

          Readings:  Office: Bob Poncer      Auditorium: Ron Wood

          Subject:     Christ’s Behavior Among Different People

          Date:          Sunday Evening - January 26, 1997

          Tape #       T-35




          Tonight, I want to give you a brief overview of Mark 3:1-35. We will take a brief look at five things contained in these thirty-five verses, and look at them all together, because there is an obvious connection to them. Mark was inspired of the Holy Spirit to link these things together, almost as though they were all one event, so that we might see the connection between them and lean from it.


          In verse two, Mark describes the conduct of the Pharisees in the synagogue, with these words: “They watched him.” How they watched him, ready to seize any word or action by which they might slander his name and accuse him of evil.


          Tonight I want us to WATCH HIM, not to accuse him, not merely to gratify our curiosity, but to worship him and learn from him, that we may both imitate him and honor him as we make our pilgrimage through this world.


          The title of my message is WATCH HIM. I want you to hold your Bibles open on your laps and watch the Son of God, our Savior, as he moves in and out among men in different circumstances and conditions.


Proposition:      The Lord Jesus is our Example and our Teacher in all that he said and did.


          May God the Holy Spirit give us light and grace, that we may learn to follow the Son of God as we WATCH HIM in the five different positions set before us in this chapter.


I.      Watch Him In The Synagogue.


Mark 3:1-6  "And he entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand. (2) And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him. (3) And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand, Stand forth. (4) And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace. (5) And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other. (6) And the Pharisees went forth, and straightway took counsel with the Herodians against him, how they might destroy him."


          Our Lord Jesus came to the synagogue that day on an errand of mercy, an errand of mercy for the benefit of one specific man, a man whose hand was withered was about to be made whole. We will, the Lord willing, look at this in more detail in a couple of weeks. But, for now, there are three things I want you to see in these verses.


A.  The Irresistible Call of Omnipotent Grace


          Look at verses three and five. In verse three the Savior singled out this needy soul. “And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand, Stand forth.” Then, in verse five, “he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other.”

          We have before us a beautiful picture of God’s saving operations of grace in for the salvation of sinners.


1.   An election was made.


2.   A commandment was given.


“Stretch forth thine hand.” This man was commanded to do what he absolutely could not do. Yet, being commanded to do it, he as responsible to do it. Even so, when sinners are called to repentance and faith in Christ, they are responsible to repent and believe on him, though it is absolutely impossible for them to do so.


3.   An act of faith was performed.


          “And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other.” With the commandment came the ability to obey. And when God the Holy Spirit calls a sinner to life and faith in Christ he gives that sinner life, he gives him the will to obey, and he gives him the gift of faith. Thus it is written, “Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power”


B. The Hardhearted Spirit of Legalism


          Mark tells us, in verse two, that these pompous, self-righteous, tithing, sabbath keeping, Pharisees watched the Savior’s every word and movement. They did not watch to learn. “They watched…him that they might accuse him!” Here they are in the house of God, pretending to worship God, pretending to keep the sabbath day, pretending to be holy, pretending to be lovers of God and lovers of men. But they were nothing but hardhearted hypocrites! These men would not break the sabbath day for anything; but they did not hesitate gathering with the Herodians on the sabbath day in a church discipline committee to plot the murder of the Son of God!


1.   Legalism always produces hardness.


2.   Those who watch others, in the name of brotherly love, that they might accuse or slander them to others do so because of a hardness of heart that comes only from self-righteousness.


3.   Any religion that produces such hardness of heart is not of God.


          The grace of God does not produce man-spirited legalism. The grace of God does not produce gossiping, slandering, backbiting hypocrites. Grace makes people gracious. Forgiveness makes men forgiving. The knowledge of Christ and the experience of his grace n the soul makes a person loving, kind, tender, forbearing, and patient with others.


Note: Our Lord knew the Pharisees were watching him; but he made no effort to impress them or prevent their slanders. When Paul admonishes us to “abstain from all appearance of evil,” he is not telling us to live in a way that will prevent carping religionists from speaking evil of us. He is telling us to abstain from every form of doctrine that is evil, or every form of doctrine that has the smell of free will, works religion.


I hear people say, “We ought to live so that the world will see Christ in us.” The world did not see Christ in Christ. How do you think they are going to see Christ in you? Don’t ever try to impress the world with your godliness. The world (Secular or Religious!) does not have the slightest idea what godliness is! Live for the glory of Christ, to do the will of God, and serve the interests of men’s souls; and ignore the world.


C. Christ’s Anger at The Hardness of Their Hearts


          Verse five tells us that our Lord look around the room, glaring at these pompous religionists “with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts.” Everybody in the room could plainly see the fire in his eyes. There is an anger that is sinful and to be avoided. Personal vengeance, sensual wrath, the anger of jealousy and envy: all of those things are horribly evil. But anger at hard, self-righteous, legalistic, damning religion, anger in the cause of God’s glory, is a just anger. Anger at a backbiting tongue is altogether proper.



Proverbs 25:23  "The north wind driveth away rain: so doth an angry countenance a backbiting tongue."


Psalms 139:19-22  "Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: depart from me therefore, ye bloody men. (20) For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain. (21) Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? (22) I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies."


II.   Watch Him At The Seashore


Mark 3:7-12  "But Jesus withdrew himself with his disciples to the sea: and a great multitude from Galilee followed him, and from Judaea, (8) And from Jerusalem, and from Idumaea, and from beyond Jordan; and they about Tyre and Sidon, a great multitude, when they had heard what great things he did, came unto him. (9) And he spake to his disciples, that a small ship should wait on him because of the multitude, lest they should throng him. (10) For he had healed many; insomuch that they pressed upon him for to touch him, as many as had plagues. (11) And unclean spirits, when they saw him, fell down before him, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of God. (12) And he straitly charged them that they should not make him known."


          Here we have another picture of God’s saving operations of grace. In the synagogue we saw, in the man with the withered hand, a picture of the effectual call and of God’s omnipotent grace in that call. Here we see a demonstration of God’s method of grace.


          We must never imagine that God is in any way limited. He is not. Yet, he does declare in his Word that there are some specific things which are always involved in the conversion of chosen sinners. Here are three things always involved in the experience of grace.


A.  A Message Heard


          When our Lord and his disciples gathered at the sea shore, great multitudes came, they came from everywhere, look at it in verse eight, “when they heard what great things he did.”


          They did not hear just any message. They heard a message about him. They did not hear about what he wanted to do, or tried to do, or even would do. Oh, no! There is no gospel in that kind of preaching. “They heard what great things he did!”


1.   Gospel preaching is all about him. - It is all about Christ.


2.   Gospel preaching declares what great things he has done.

·        Righteousness Bought In!

·        Justice Satisfied!

·        Redemption Accomplished!


3.   Gospel preaching is absolutely indispensable in God’s method of salvation and grace (1 Pet. 1:23-25).


B. A Touch of Hope


          Hearing what great things the Lord Jesus had done, these poor, needy souls thronged around the Savior, like the woman with the issue of blood, in hope of touching him. Granted, their hope, like hers, may have been shaky, maybe even desperate. But like her, Christ was all the hope they had. And when Christ is all you’ve got, Christ is enough! In their great need, they touched him. Hear me, my friend. If you can, if you will, with the hand of hope and faith touch him, you shall be made whole this very hour. Like the publican in the temple, you will go down to your house justified! God help you to touch him now.


“Reach out and touch the Lord, as He passes by;

You’ll find He’s not too busy to hear your heart’s cry;

He’s passing by this moment, your needs to supply;

So reach out and touch the Lord, as He goes by!”


C. A Confession of Faith


Mark 3:11  "And unclean spirits, when they saw him, fell down before him, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of God."


          When those who were possessed of demons were delivered from the powers of hell by the grace of God, they who had experienced his power fell before him and confessed, “Thou art the Son of God!”


          This is how God saves his elect. 1st He causes them to hear the gospel. 2nd He gives them the hope of grace, causing them to come to Christ in faith. 3rd He causes them to confess Christ as their God and Savior.


III. Watch Him On The Mountain


Mark 3:13-19  "And he goeth up into a mountain, and calleth unto him whom he would: and they came unto him. (14) And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach, (15) And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils: (16) And Simon he surnamed Peter; (17) And James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James; and he surnamed them Boanerges, which is, The sons of thunder: (18) And Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Canaanite, (19) And Judas Iscariot, which also betrayed him: and they went into an house."


          There are many, many things in these verses that need to be thoughtfully and prayerfully studied. But here are three things that jumped out at me as I prepared this message.


A.  A Display of Sovereignty


Mark 3:13  "And he goeth up into a mountain, and calleth unto him whom he would: and they came unto him."


1.   Our Lord called whom he would.

2.   All whom he was pleased to call came to him.


B. A Description of Gospel Preachers


          What Mark tells us in verse fourteen about the original apostles may be applied to every man in every age who is called of God to preach the gospel of Christ.


Mark 3:14-15  "And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach, (15) And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils."


          The Gospel Preacher is…


1.   A Man Chosen and Ordained of God.

2.   A Man Who is with the Lord, and More Importantly, with Whom the Lord Is! - The Stars of the Churches are In His Right Hand!

3.   A Man Sent of God! - God sends his servants where he wants them.

4.   A Man sent to Preach! - God’s messengers are all preachers! Preachers are men with a message. Our message is Jesus Christ crucified.

5.   A Man with God Given Power.


C. An Incidental Encouragement


          I am so thankful that Judas is listed here among those whom the Lord Jesus sent out among his apostles. Remember, the passage begins with a display of our Lord’s sovereignty. He called to him “whom he would.” Judas was not there by accident. He was there by divine purpose as much as Peter was. Though he was a wicked, reprobate man, he was an instrument in the hands of the sovereign Lord God by which his eternal purpose was accomplished.


          Even so, our Lord Jesus Christ is Lord (absolute despot) over those very false prophets who deny him (2 Pet. 2:1).


IV. Watch Him Among Unbelievers


A.  Our Lord’s unbelieving kinsmen pitied him as a madman.


Mark 3:20-21  "And the multitude cometh together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread. (21) And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself."


          If you have a marginal reference in your Bible, you will see that the word friends might be better translated kinsmen. His family apparently tried not to show open hostility to him; but they were obviously embarrassed by the fact that he was a relative. Here, Mark tells us that they tried to take him by the arms and lead him out of he streets, saying to the crowds. Don’t pay any attention to him, the poor man has lost his mind!


B. The scribes and Pharisees (Matt. 12:24) said he was possessed of a devil.


          When confronted with the doctrine of Christ, and his undeniable power as the Son of God, rather than bowing to him, they ascribed everything he did to the devil.


Mark 3:22  "And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth he out devils."


C. Our Lord responded to the courteous unbelief of his pretended friends and the open blasphemy of the Pharisees in exactly the same way.


Mark 3:23-30  "And he called them unto him, and said unto them in parables, How can Satan cast out Satan? (24) And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. (25) And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand. (26) And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end. (27) No man can enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house. (28) Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme: (29) But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation: (30) Because they said, He hath an unclean spirit."


A.  He asserts his sovereignty over the powers of hell.


          “No man can enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house” (v. 27).


B. He assures us of the forgiveness of sins.


          “Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme” (v. 28).


C. He warns us of the danger of willful unbelief.


          “But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation” (v. 29).


          Any man who dares thumb his nose at God almighty and his darling Son is courting eternal reprobation. There comes a time when men and women cannot be saved, when God will not show mercy. I do not know when that time comes. I do not know where God has drawn it; but I do know that God has drawn a line in the sand. If you cross that line in your obstinate rebellion and unbelief, you cannot be saved. You are as surely damned as if you were already in hell (Pro. 1:23-33). When that happens, God will leave you alone!


1.   There will be no ability in his saints to pray for you.


2.   God’s servants will not be able to speak to your heart.


3.   There will be no gentle wooing of the Spirit, tugging at your heart.


          The Lord God himself declares, “My Spirit shall not always strive with man” (Gen. 6:3). You can make of that whatever you want to, or make nothing of it if you dare. But I am telling you, willful unbelief is a very dangerous thing!


V.  Watch Him Among His Real Family


Mark 3:31-35  "There came then his brethren and his mother, and, standing without, sent unto him, calling him. (32) And the multitude sat about him, and they said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee. (33) And he answered them, saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren? (34) And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! (35) For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother."


          It looks to me like those brethren who tried to get him to go with them to the loony-bin went and got his mother, hoping to use her influence to put an end to the family’s embarrassment. But our Lord describes his family, the family of God, as being made up of chosen, redeemed, called sinners, who “do the will of God.”


          We do not have to guess or speculate as to what the will of God is. He tells us plainly in his Word.


1 John 3:23  "And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment."


A.  The only way you can get into this family is by adoption.


Galatians 4:4-7  "But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, (5) To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. (6) And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. (7) Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ."


1 John 3:1-3  "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. (2) Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. (3) And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure."


B. The sure evidence of adoption is faith in Christ.


Romans 8:14-16  "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. (15) For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. (16) The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:"


Conclusion:                “Johnny’s Number 60!”