life: Or “soul.”
to save a life or to kill: Or “to save or to kill a soul.”
with indignation, being thoroughly grieved: Only Mark records Jesus’ reaction when Jesus observed the insensibility of the hearts of the religious leaders on this occasion. (Mt 12:13; Lu 6:
began holding council: This is the first of two occasions when the Bible specifically mentions that two opposing parties, the Pharisees and the party followers of Herod, consult together to do away with Jesus. The second occasion was nearly two years later, just three days before Jesus was put to death, indicating that these groups plotted together against Jesus over an extended period of time.
party followers of Herod: See Glossary.
the sea: That is, the Sea of Galilee.
Idumea: During the time of Jesus’ ministry, Idumea was the southernmost region of the Roman province of Judea. (See App. B10.) In Greek, the name means “[Land] of the Edomites.” The Edomites originally occupied territory S of the Dead Sea. (See App. B3 and B4.) They were conquered by Babylonian King Nabonidus in the sixth century B.C.E. By the fourth century B.C.E., the Nabataean Arabs occupied their land, so the Edomites moved north into the Negeb, as far as the region around Hebron, and that territory was called Idumea. They were conquered by the Hasmoneans (Maccabees) and forced to be circumcised and live by Jewish law or be expelled. The forefathers of the Herods were among those who submitted to Jewish law and customs.
from across the Jordan: Evidently referring to the region E of the Jordan, also known as Perea (from the Greek word peʹran, meaning “the other side; beyond”).
not to make him known: That is, not to reveal his identity. Although the unclean spirits knew that Jesus was “the Son of God” and addressed him as such (vs. 11), Jesus would not allow demons to witness about him. They are outcasts, rebels, haters of what is holy, and enemies of God. (See study note on Mr 1:
apostles: Or “sent ones.” The Greek word a·poʹsto·los is derived from the verb a·po·stelʹlo, which is used toward the end of the verse and is rendered “send out.”
to whom he also gave the name Peter: The name that Jesus gave to Simon means “A Piece of Rock.” (Joh 1:
Boanerges: A Semitic expression that is found only in Mark’s account. Jesus gave James and John this name that likely reflected their fiery enthusiasm.
which means: Mark explains or translates terms that Jewish readers would have been familiar with, indicating that he wrote his account with non-Jews in mind.
Bartholomew: Meaning “Son of Tolmai.” He is thought to be the Nathanael mentioned by John. (Joh 1:
James the son of Alphaeus: Evidently the same disciple as the one called “James the Less” at Mr 15:40. It is generally thought that Alphaeus was the same person as Clopas (Joh 19:25), which would also make him the husband of “the other Mary” (Mt 27:56; 28:1; Mr 15:40; 16:1; Lu 24:10). The Alphaeus mentioned here is evidently not the same person as the Alphaeus mentioned at Mr 2:
Thaddaeus: In the listings of the apostles at Lu 6:
the Cananaean: A designation distinguishing the apostle Simon from the apostle Simon Peter. (Mt 10:4) This term is thought to be of Hebrew or Aramaic origin, meaning “Zealot; Enthusiast.” Luke referred to this Simon as “the zealous one,” using the Greek word ze·lo·tesʹ, also meaning “zealot; enthusiast.” (Lu 6:
Iscariot: Possibly meaning “Man From Kerioth.” Judas’ father, Simon, is also called “Iscariot.” (Joh 6:71) This term has commonly been understood to indicate that Simon and Judas were from the Judean town of Kerioth-hezron. (Jos 15:25) If this is so, Judas was the only Judean among the 12 apostles, the rest being Galileans.
his relatives: These may have included Jesus’ half brothers James and Judas (Jude), who each wrote a Bible book. The names of Jesus’ four half brothers are mentioned at Mt 13:55 and Mr 6:3.
Beelzebub: A designation applied to Satan.
illustrations: Or “parables.” The Greek word pa·ra·bo·leʹ, which literally means “a placing beside (together),” may be in the form of a parable, a proverb, or an illustration. Jesus often explains a thing by ‘placing it beside,’ or comparing it with, another similar thing. (Mr 4:30) His illustrations were short and usually fictitious narratives from which a moral or spiritual truth could be drawn.
house: That is, a household. The original-language term for “house” could refer to an individual family or an extended household, including one associated with the palaces of kings. (Ac 7:
be able to stand: Or “continue (stay together).”
blasphemes against the holy spirit: Blasphemy refers to defamatory, injurious, or abusive speech against God or against sacred things. Since holy spirit emanates from God himself, willfully opposing or denying its operation amounted to blasphemy against God. As shown at Mt 12:24, 28 and Mr 3:
guilty of everlasting sin: Seems to refer to willful sin that has eternal consequences; there is no sacrifice to cover such sin.
See, my mother and my brothers!: Jesus here makes a distinction between his natural brothers, some of whom evidently lacked faith in him (Joh 7:5), and his spiritual brothers, his disciples. He shows that regardless of how precious the ties are that bind him to his relatives, his relationship with those who do “the will of God” is even more precious.