19 And Judas Iscariot, which
also betrayed him: and they went into an house.
20 And the multitude cometh
together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread.
21 And when his friends
heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside
Autumn (About Sep-Oct) of 28 A.D.
/ 780 A.U.C, near the end of his Third Journey, about 1½
years into his public ministry (about half-way through his public minstry).
The reason why this report gained any belief was, probably, that our Lord
had lived among them as a carpenter; that he was poor, and unknown; and
that now, at thirty 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 splendour.
- Barnes, Albert, New Testament
Commentary, Mark 3:21
That earnestness in the service of God, and that activity and perseverance
in doing good which true religion inspires, appear to many to be indications
of insanity, and awaken in them solicitude; while equal earnestness in
the pursuit of worldly things awakens no such apprehensions, but is viewed
- Family Bible Notes, Mark 3:21
Herod Antipas will later consider Jesus as John the Baptist redivivus,
the scribes treat him as under demonic possession, even the family and
friends fear a disordered mind as a result of overstrain. It was a crucial
moment for Jesus. His family or friends came to take him home, to lay hold
of him (kratêsai), forcibly if need be.
- Robertson's Word Pictures,
They foresaw the conflict with the military authorities and the religious
leaders into which the present course of Jesus was leading, and were satisfied
that the case called for their interference.
- Four-fold Gospel, Mark
Beside himself means that his spirit was outside his body, which was being
directed by a foreign spirit (a demon).
There is a deliberate correspondence between the role of Jesus' family
and that of the scribes. Both in various ways misunderstand Jesus
and his mission. The one party things that he is mad, the other that
he is in league with Beelzebul.
He is beside himself means not that He has lost His reason, but that He
is suffering, as we should say, from religious mania and has become eccentric.
A similar charge was more than once brought against Paul (Acts 26:24; 2
Corinthians 5:13), and is often made against an earnest Christian.