People are fickle, aren’t they? Well, I’m not. You’re not. But other people are fickle, aren’t they? Our affections for the Lord run hot and cold–I mean ‘their’ affections for the Lord run hot and cold. We are far more consistent, or are we? Are we following Jesus for all the wrong reasons? I wonder…
In Mark 3:7-12 as Mark continues his action-packed gospel account of the ministry of Jesus, he portrays the popularity of the Miracle-working Messiah.
“Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the lake…” The quietness and serenity of the Sea of Galilee, at least on a calm day, would be refreshing for the growing apostolic band. Time to reflect. Time to teach. Time to equip these key leaders for the next phase of ministry. There was lots of time, or was there?
“…and a large crowd from Galilee followed. When they heard all he was doing, many people came to him from Judea, Jerusalem, Iduemea, and the regions across the Jordan and around Tyre and Sidon.
Jesus was popular, but for what reason? Where were these crowds later as Jesus faced the cross? Were any of those who were healed now, bystanders later, as they learned of the arrest, trial and death of the Messiah? Have we ever ‘experienced’ a miracle and then promptly turned away into unbelief? We’ll accept God’s help, but once healed, we want to go back to our old way of living. Reading this account may be a convicting experience as we see our lack of devotion to the One who has healed us from our greatest affliction, that of sin. Maybe we too are following for all the wrong reasons.
Jesus urged the disciples to prepare a small boat, lest the crushing crowd force him into the water. Many healings were taking place and the anxious sick ones made their way through the mob, just to touch him. How did they learn of Jesus? Was it the ‘testimonies’ of those already healed?
This miracle-working activity impacts not only the natural world, but the supernatural. Evil spirits, encountering the Master, confess him as the Son of God. Jesus refuses their publicity. It was one thing for sinners to confess their open faith in who Jesus was, it was quite another for the demons to ‘spread the word.’