on Mark 3 :21
His friends - Or, relations. On this verse several MSS. differ considerably. I have followed the reading of the Syriac, because I think it the best: οἱ παρ' αυτου signify merely his relatives, his brethren, etc., see Mark 3:31; and the phrase is used by the best writers to signify relatives, companions, and domestics. See Kypke in loc.
They said, He is beside himself - It was the enemies of Christ that raised this report; and his relatives, probably thinking that it was true, went to confine him. Let a Christian but neglect the care of his body for a time, in striving to enter in at the strait gate; let a minister of Christ but impair his health by his pastoral labors; presently "he is distracted;" he has "not the least conduct nor discretion." But let a man forget his soul, let him destroy his health by debaucheries, let him expose his life through ambition, and he may, notwithstanding, pass for a very prudent and sensible man!
Schoettgen contends that the multitude, and not Christ, is here intended. Christ was in the house: the multitude, οχλος, Mark 3:20, pressed upon him so that he could not eat bread. His disciples, or friends, went out, κρατησαι αυτον (scil. οχλον), to restrain it, viz. the multitude, to prevent them from rushing into the house and disturbing their Master, who was now taking some refreshment. This conjecture should not be lightly regarded.
on Mark 3 :21
When his friends - Greek, "they who were of him." Not the apostles, but his relatives, his friends, who were in the place of his nativity.
Heard of it - Heard of his conduct: his preaching; his appointing the apostles; his drawing such a multitude to his preaching. This shows that by "his friends" were not meant the apostles, but his neighbors and others who "heard" of his conduct.
They went out to lay hold on him - To take him away from the multitude, and to remove him to his home, that he might be treated as a maniac, so that, by absence from the "causes" of excitement, he might be restored to his right mind.
They said - That is, common report said; or his friends and relatives said, for they did not believe on him, John 7:5. Probably the enemies of Jesus raised the report, and his relatives were persuaded to believe it to be true.
He is beside himself - He is delirious or deranged. The reason why this report gained any belief was, probably, that he had lived among them as a carpenter; that he was poor and unknown; and that now, at 30 years of age, he broke off from his occupations, abandoned his common employment, spent much time in the deserts, denied himself the common comforts of life, and set up his claims to be the Messiah who was expected by all the people to come with great pomp and splendor. The charge of "derangement" on account of attention to religion has not been confined to the Saviour. Let a man be made deeply sensible of his sins, and spend much of his time in prayer, and have no relish for the ordinary amusements or business of life; or let a Christian be much impressed with his obligation to devote himself to God, and "act" as if he believed there was an "eternity," and warn his neighbors of their danger; or let a minister show uncommon zeal and spend his strength in the service of his Master, and the world is not slow to call it derangement. And none will be more ready to originate or believe the charge than an ungodly and infidel parent or brother, a self-righteous Pharisee or professor in the church. At the same time, men may endanger themselves on the bosom of the deep or in the bowels of the earth for wealth; or may plunge into the vortex of fashion, folly, and vice, and break in upon the hours of repose, and neglect their duties to their family and the demands of business, and in the view of the world it is wisdom and proof of a sane mind! Such is the consistency of boasted reason; such the wisdom and prudence of worldly men!
on Mark 3 :21
3:21 His relations - His mother and his brethren, Mr 3:31. But it was some time before they could come near him.