Mark 3:7-35

Mark 3:7-35



  • According to recent surveys, between 70-80% of Americans say they believe in God. And yet well over half of these people also believe that “all roads” lead to God and that everyone, in the end, will be united with God forever. This view is known as Universalism. 
    • Why do you think the majority of theists in America are Universalists?
    • How have you processed these questions personally?

In this week’s passage, we ask the question: who is the family of God? And as we ask that question, Mark introduces us to four groups with four different responses to Jesus. And as we meet each of these four groups, Mark is giving us insight into who is truly part of Jesus’ family.


Read Mark 3:7-35 aloud.


  • We first meet the crowds in verses 7-10. Sick, needy, and desperate, the crowds flock to Jesus to find healing. And yet, consistently throughout the gospels, the crowds are portrayed fundamentally as consumers. They come to Jesus not to follow him as disciples but merely to get things from him. And by the end of the gospel accounts, the crowds are chanting, “Crucify Him!”
    • What are some modern-day examples of a consumer approach to Jesus?
    • In what ways are you personally tempted to come to Jesus mainly for what he can give you?

  • Next, we meet the demons in verses 11-12. The demons are completely orthodox in their theology, rightly confessing Jesus to be the Son of God. And yet, they hate Jesus in their hearts. This shows us that doctrinal orthodoxy is no sure indicator that one is part of God’s family. 
    • Read James 2:18-26. What is James saying to us about true discipleship?
    • How do James’ words challenge you personally?

  • Third, we meet Jesus’ biological family. They love Jesus but think he is out of his mind. And instead of following him, they try to pull Jesus away for his ministry to follow them. 
    • What are some examples of ways people can “co-opt” Jesus for their own agendas instead of following his agenda?
    • Jesus’ family shows that it’s possible to love Jesus and yet think he is out of his mind. What is Jesus's most challenging teaching that makes people believe Jesus was out of his mind?

  • Finally, we meet the Apostles in verses 13-19. The Apostles came to Jesus to “be with him” and were sent out to preach and minister in Jesus’ name. The key characteristic of the apostles (and all true disciples) is that they come to Jesus in love and faith, and they surrender their lives to Jesus as their King. This is pictured at the end of the chapter by “sitting” at Jesus’ feet. One way to think about discipleship is by using the image of your life as a blank check for Jesus to spend as he pleases.
    • Would you say you have given your life to Jesus as a blank check? Why or why not?
    • What part of your life are you most afraid to hand over to Jesus? Why?
    • What false beliefs about Jesus do you need to replace with true beliefs?