Bible Study Lessons

Unity and Forgiveness

Introduction

King Fernando's greatest grief was the constant fighting between his two sons. As he lay dying, he decided that the only way to give his people peace was to divide his kingdom between the two princes. But, sadly, the king's plan did not work. The princes, each unsatisfied with his own portion and jealous of his brother's half, continued their arguing. Only this time, they had armies at their command. As the brothers fought their tragic campaign, the king of the neighboring country, which had often attacked the kingdom, saw his chance. With their armies already on the field, their supplies largely exhausted, and their animosity toward each other, the princes were unable to fend off their enemy and the kingdom fell into unfriendly hands. As you study Mark 3:22-30, you'll see that Jesus uses an example like this one to demonstrate that the accusations of His enemies were false.

Observation

Pray

Before you begin, pray and ask the Lord to help you understand and obey His Word.

Read Focus Verses

Read Mark 3:22-30 and consider the conversation recorded in these verses.

Opposition: Source 1

This passage comes in the middle of a difficult time for Jesus. Notice the opposition He's just faced earlier in the chapter in Mark 3:1-7.

Opposition: Source 2

If we read today's verses in their immediate context, we see opposition from a closer, more painful source. Notice who opposes Jesus in the verses before and after today's passage in Mark 3:20-35.

Opposition

Who opposes Jesus in Mark 3?

Scribes

Specifically in today's passage, who is highlighted as opposing Jesus with the question at hand in verse 22?

Where?

Where did these Scribes come from to oppose Jesus?

Accusation

What accusation do the Scribes make about Jesus?

Miracles

Which of His miraculous works are they criticizing today?

Parables

What kind of response does verse 23 tell us Jesus gave them?

Question

What question does Jesus ask in verse 23 in response to their question?

Part 1

Restate the first part of Jesus' reply found in verses 24-26 in your own words.

Part 2

What analogy does Jesus use in verse 27 to explain the truth of what He has just said?

Part 3

The third part of Jesus' reply in verses 28-29 is very solemn. What does He tell them in this third part of His reply?

Explanation

Verse 30 explains why Jesus included this third part of His answer - why?

Keywords - Jesus Christ

As we've discovered in our studies in Mark, Jesus is the center of everything in this book. Marking references to Him helps us see this.

no image

Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ

Mark the references to Jesus in Mark 3:22-30.

Keyword - Satan

Satan is named several times in today's passage. Marking those references will help them stand out.

no image

Evil, Evil one, Devil, Satan, Dragon, Serpent

Satan

Mark the times Satan is named in Mark 3:22-30.

Interpretation

Casting Out Demons

We've already seen Jesus casting out demons many times in these first few chapters. Read about the first time it's recorded in this book in Mark 1:21-28.

Accusation

The accusation the scribes are making was made more than once. Matthew 9:32-34 records it first.

Parallel

Matthew 12:22-37 records the same story as today's passage, but with more detail.

Just Before

What had Jesus done before the accusation was made?

Who?

Who was apparently with the Scribes making the accusation?

Words and Heart

What does Matthew's account record at the end of Jesus' answer in verses 33-37?

Connection

According to Jesus' words, why are words such a good indication of who a person really is?

Account

What kind of words will we each give account for?

Revealed

What did the Scribes and Pharisees' words reveal about their hearts?

Map

These Scribes had come all the way from Jerusalem. As you find Jerusalem (south in Judaea) and Capernaum (north in Galilee), remember that they probably walked.

Click To Visit Website

One More Thing

Luke 11:15-26 tells the story and adds another thing Jesus said.

Cast Out

What does Luke 11:24-26 add?

Not Enough

Why, according to Jesus' words, is it not enough just to get rid of evil?

What Then?

Romans 6:15-23 shows us what should replace evil in our lives.

Replaced

What should replace evil in our lives so that there is no more room for it?

Scribes and Pharisees

The Scribes and Pharisees were the religious leaders of Israel and had political and judicial power as well (under the Roman government). They have been following and opposing Jesus at every step in the first three chapters of Mark - trying to catch Him doing wrong, trying to provoke Him to do wrong, and now making accusations to try to turn the crowd away from Him. This article explains some of the reasons the jealous, power-loving Pharisees and Scribes hated Jesus so much.

Click To Visit Website

Satan Comes

Satan has already appeared on the scene in the book of Mark. Notice his despicable role in Mark 1:12-13.

First Time

What is Satan doing the first time he directly appears in the story of Jesus?

Satan Again

Luke 22:2-6 tells us of another time Satan directly attempted to defeat Christ.

Second Time

What is Satan doing the second time he appears directly in the story of Jesus?

Satan Summarized

This short summary helps us see who Satan really is according to the Bible.

Click To Visit Website

Parables

If, as you read today's passage, you wondered why Jesus answered them in parables, the disciples wondered too. Later in the day in Matthew 13:10-17, they ask and Jesus answers them.

They Don't Want To Know

Why did Jesus speak to these stubborn, evil leaders in parables? (Hint: Remember that Jesus explained the parables to those who wanted to understand and asked.)

Division

Proverbs 6:16-19 reveals how much God hates division among those who should be united.

Unity

Psalm 133:1-3, on the other hand, shows us how much God loves unity among those who should be united.

One in Christ

Ephesians 4:1-6 explains what Christians have unity around and why they must strive for that unity.

How to Get It

Philippians 2:1-4 explains how Christians can work toward this unity.

A Witness to the World

A few verses later in Philippians 2:14-16 we see why it is so important.

Peacemakers

Notice what Jesus says about this in Matthew 5:9.

Important

From these verses and today's passage, why is unity among His people around Christ so important to God?

Achieving It

How should Christians try to achieve this unity with each other?

Some Things

Ephesians 5:1-12 both urges Christians toward unity with each other and warns them to have no unity with something else.

No Unity

With what can Christians have no unity?

Blasphemy

In Leviticus 24:11-17 we see how serious blasphemy is.

God's Name

Exodus 20:7 gets to the heart of why blasphemy is a problem.

Serious

What was the just punishment for blasphemy in Old Testament Israel according to the Law of Moses?

Murder

What sin is put on the same level as blasphemy in Leviticus 24:17?

The Problem

Why is blasphemy such a big problem according to Exodus 20:7?

God's Forgiveness

With that in mind, what do Jesus' words in verse 28 of today's passage that all sins, even blasphemy, can be forgiven tell us about God's forgiveness?

Pardon

Micah 7:18-19 helps us understand God's forgiveness.

Delights in Mercy

Why do these amazing verses say God forgives?

The Depths of the Sea

What picture does God use to tell us how forgiven those He forgives really are in Micah 7:19?

Through the Cross

Colossians 2:13-15 tells us how God forgives.

The Blood that Cleanses

1 John 1:6-10 explains more.

Sinners Justified

Romans 3:23-28 reveals why it is necessary.

How?

Romans 10:9-13 also explains who can be saved and how.

Forgiven

According to these verses, how does God justly forgive sins?

Needed

Who needs God's forgiveness? Why?

Turn and Believe

How can a person find God's forgiveness according to these verses?

Whoever

According to Romans 10:13, who can be saved? (Hint: This lines up with what Jesus says in verse 28 of today's passage.)

Unforgiven Sin

Then what does Jesus mean in verse 29 of today's passage? This video gives insight into what Jesus is talking about in verse 29 and how verse 30 helps us understand it.

Jesus Is Stronger

What does verse 27 in today's passage tell about Jesus' power over Satan? (Hint: Remember that Jesus has been casting out demons - something that Satan didn't want done.)

Under Your Feet

Romans 16:20 reminds us of this power.

Greater

1 John 4:4 turns this truth into a wonderful promise of assurance.

Final Victory

Revelation 20:10 tells us of God's final and eternal victory over Satan.

Good vs. Evil

How could you use these verses to explain that Jesus Christ is stronger and will be victorious to someone who thought that good and evil were equal forces battling for victory?

Patient

1 Peter 3:9-12 helps us understand why God is delaying that day.

Why Wait?

Why does this verse explain that is God waiting for His chosen time to finally vanquish and utterly defeat Satan instead of crushing him now as God is fully able?

Once More

Read Mark 3:22-30 once more in light of what you've studied in the rest of the Bible.

Key Lessons

What do you think are the key lessons God intends us to learn from these verses?

Application

Division or Unity

Honestly evaluate your life - ask God to help you - and ask yourself if you are helping to bring division or unity, discord or peace to your family and church. What is a specific way God wants you to bring unity and peace this week in each?

Forgiveness

Have you come to Jesus for forgiveness of your sin? If not, won't you come today? If so, is there sin in your life today that you need to confess (say the same thing about it as He does in His Word) and turn from so that you can know His forgiveness anew?

Wrapup

Closing

We hope this study plan has helped you to understand the danger of division and the extent of God's forgiveness and has challenged you to seek His forgiveness and live in unity with His people.

Feedback

Please take a brief moment to provide us some feedback on this lesson. We're always striving to improve, and, with your help, we will.

Click To Visit Website

Support our Ministry

Please join us in our quest to help the world discover the beauty of the Bible. Consider making a generous donation today.

Click To Visit Website

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *