True Followers of Jesus


Mark 3: 7-12
1 Sm 18:6-9;19:1-7 / Ps 56

When they heard about all that He was doing, people came to Him …
(Mark 3:8)

Our Lord Jesus healed all who came,
His mercy is everlasting.
Call on His name, He’ll do the same,
God’s love will never be wanting.

Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the lake, and a large crowd from Galilee followed. When they heard about all 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

In today’s Gospel, we note that many kinds of people followed Jesus, coming from different regions of Palestine. Many of them followed Him because they needed to be healed of various ailments, or freed from evil spirits, and others because they wanted to see Him perform “wondrous signs”. Most others were curiosity-seekers and speculators who were hoping that Jesus was their savior against the Roman conquerors of Israel. But Jesus was not the kind of leader 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, as when He constantly exorcized demoniacs who also followed Him. Our Lord had to command them to be silent when they cried out, “You are the Son of God!” because He did not want them to disrupt God’s timetable for Him to be known as the Messiah. This would be revealed according to God’s schedule. Besides, it was not in their jurisdiction to be declaring the presence of God among His people. They had no such privilege. Only a few of those who followed Jesus were true disciples, who recognized Him as the promised Messiah, and fewer still were His apostles, whom He had chosen, and who would later have that privilege to proclaim Jesus as the Son of God, after our Lord had resurrected from the dead.

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 were left when He ascended to heaven. Most of them had gone on to continue with their temporal pursuits.

Most of us (who read this) may be members of the renewal, or what we call the “Charismatic groups”. But how committed are we as followers of Christ? Many of those who join renewal communities like Couples for Christ, BLD, Loved Flock, BCBP, etc. are swept off their feet because of the melodious praise songs, and the vibrant fellowship in these communities. But how many remain when the going gets tough, and trials come to test their faith? Is the harvest rich? We can only wonder.

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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