The Messiah and the Multitudes

Mark 3:7-12
Heb 7:25—8:6 / Psa 40

…those who had diseases were pressing upon Him to touch Him. And whenever unclean spirits saw Him they would fall down before Him and shout, “You are the Son of God.” He warned them sternly not to make Him known.
(Mark 3:10-12)

Of all the things under my concern
Where does my priority lie?
To follow Christ I must first discern:
What kind of a Christian am I?

Jesus withdrew toward the sea with His disciples. A large number of people followed from Galilee and from Judea. Hearing what He was doing, a large number of people came to Him also from Jerusalem, from Idumea, from beyond the Jordan, and from the neighborhood of Tyre and Sidon. He told His disciples to have a boat ready for Him because of the crowd, so that they would not crush Him. He had cured many and, as a result, those who had diseases were pressing upon Him to touch Him. And whenever unclean spirits saw Him they would fall down before Him and shout, “You are the Son of God.” He warned them sternly not to make Him known. (Mark 3:7-12)

Reflection

The popularity of Jesus as a great healer and teacher had attracted so many people coming from all over Galilee and Judea. Aware that the Pharisees and the teachers of the law were plotting to kill Him, He withdrew towards the sea with His disciples. Still the crowds came, and had become so thick that Jesus had to have a boat ready, in case He needed room to address the crowds pressing upon Him. All who were afflicted with various ailments wanted to touch Him, while those possessed by evil spirits proclaimed His divinity, but were silenced. Why did Jesus order the demoniacs to be silent? It was because He did not want them to disrupt God’s timetable for Him to be known as the Messiah. This would be revealed after He had risen from the dead. Besides, it was not in their jurisdiction to be declaring the presence of God among His people. They had no such privilege.

Why were such large crowds coming to Jesus? Was it to listen to his teachings? Many of them came to be healed of their diseases or to be freed from evil spirits. Most others were curiosity-seekers and speculators who were hoping that Jesus would be their political or military savior against the Roman conquerors of Israel. But Jesus was not the Messiah they had been waiting for. He was in fact far more than any political leader who could give them temporal freedom here on earth. His kind of deliverance was freedom from damnation to a life eternal in the kingdom of God in heaven.

In the Christian world today, we find that there are many followers of Jesus. Sadly, it seems most of them have the wrong motives for following Him. They look upon God to fill their needs, for long-term security, or merely to belong to His Church. When they pray, it is only to ask for favors. When they give tithes, it is only because they expect a tenfold return on their offerings. A true Christian is one who gives his life to the Lord because of love. He obeys all of God’s decrees because he believes in all the teachings of Jesus Christ. Of the thousands who followed Jesus when He walked the earth, only a little over a hundred was left when He ascended to heaven. Most of them had gone on to continue with their temporal pursuits. How about us? How committed are we as followers of Christ? Where do our priorities lie?

We come to Your assembly, Lord, to praise You, and worship the Father, and be filled with Your Holy Spirit. Let all Your creation crowd around to give You glory. Amen.

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