CHAPTER 3: THE GREAT MULTITUDE
“Then Jesus went away with His disciples to the sea, and a great multitude from Galilee followed Him.” (Mark 3:7, NET).
Now here is a passage, Mark 3:7-12 worth a great deal of reflection time. Here are some points of reflection about Jesus’ authority, compassion, and long-term goal.
The healing authority and personal compassion Jesus displayed must have been something only fully appreciated if you were there to witness it. Words cannot quite capture the emotion of those days and no one can really speculate on the language of the crowd. This crowd seemed to have no doubt or hesitation that Jesus could heal. They had the utmost hope in Jesus’ authority to heal.
Many pressed in on Him. They just wanted to touch Jesus. There was so much pressure that He needed to prepare a way of escape from the crowd to protect Himself and the disciples. There was an endless cry of people. Jesus had His disciples prepare a boat at sea from which He could speak. We must remember that Jesus had come into the world to humble Himself… to be as human as we are… to reveal Father God’s Name and to overcome the evil powers of the world.
Therefore, He had to carry out ministry not just in accordance with short-term intermediate needs, but also God’s long-term plan. Jesus of Nazareth had His eye on the ultimate objective which was the world free of evil. People seemed to be living life with the plague of unclean spirits. It was a part of life they had to tolerate. Jesus Christ comes on the scene and by all accounts put forward a new paradigm. Jesus understood what the unclean spirits were in reality and that they would harass and possess people.
What’s more interesting is that the unclean spirits interestingly knew who Jesus was and He told them to be quiet. Their witness was no good and He wanted nothing to do with them. He personally gave witness to His mission (God’s plan) through His humanity, His own teaching, His miracles, and those who followed Him… not lying demons.
There is a lesson here! Yes, we must show compassion in the distress of our fallen world, yet never at the cost of God’s long-term goal which He will complete through us. We belong to God and are His believers. Jesus elsewhere says we will always have the poor with us (Matthew 26:11, John 12:8) and indeed we do. We must serve and love them, but the long-term goal is Jesus’ return. The only way to rid our world of evil is to prepare the world to be free of evil at the return of Jesus Christ.
The pressing goal is proclaiming Christ.
The long-term goal comes from conformity to Jesus Christ.
Jesus is not a means to make your life happy. We must abandon our lives for His life. It is better to lose our lives and our own personal kingdoms than to lose His way and to lose His Kingdom. And this promise… is for everyone.