Mark 3:7-12 – Summary and Conclusion to the First Cycle of Stories


Mark 3:7-12


The first cycle of stories about Jesus and his ministry concludes with an acclamation of Jesus’ identity and a call to silence.


After the Gospel’s opening activity–Jesus’ calling of the first disciples (1:16-20) and his engagement with the demonic world (1:21-45) and the religious world (2:1-3:6)–Jesus withdraws to the sea with his disciples (3:7-12). The geographical sweep of Jesus’ ministry thus far is noted even if we have not heard stories from all these areas and cities: Galilee, Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, beyond the Jordan, Tyre, and Sidon. This summary of Jesus’ initial ministry concludes with an acclamation of his identity and a call to silence: “all who had diseases pressed upon him to touch him. Whenever the unclean spirits saw him, they fell down before him and shouted, ‘You are the Son of God!’ But he sternly ordered them not to make him known” (3:10b-12).