Following Jesus

Mark 3: 7-12
Heb 7:25—8:6 / Psa 40

Whenever the impure spirits saw Him, they fell down before Him and cried out, “You are the Son of God.” But He gave them strict orders not to tell others about Him.
(Mark 3:12)

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 with His disciples to the lake, and a large crowd from Galilee followed them. When they heard about everything that He was doing, many people came to Him from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, and the regions across the Jordan and around Tyre and Sidon. Because of the crowd He told His disciples to have a small boat ready for Him, to keep the people from crowding Him. For He had healed many, so that those with diseases were pushing forward to touch Him. Whenever the impure spirits saw Him, they fell down before Him and cried out, “You are the Son of God.” But He gave them strict orders not to tell others about Him. (Mark 3:7-12)

Reflection

The popularity of Jesus as a great healer and teacher had attracted multitudes of people coming from all over Galilee. He had withdrawn to Capernaum towards the sea with His disciples (probably making Simon Peter’s home His base) so that people could come to him from all directions. But when the crowds came, they 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 our Lord 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 within their power 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 savior against the Roman conquerors of Israel. But Jesus was not the kind of 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 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. But from these numbers our Church has grown into billions of Christians all over the world. What about us? How committed are we as followers of Christ? Where do our priorities lie? Up to what extent are we willing to give our lives to Him?

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

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