The Jesus Movement Exploding
Good authors know the importance of summarizing things to help their readers keep up. Mark has already done this in 1:14-15, 32-34. 35-39. Now, he gives us a general overview of how the crowds are coming from every corner of Israel, even from Tyre and Sidon in Phoenicia, to check out this new Galilean prophet who took over after John the Baptist’s arrest. He is far more than a prophet. Mark reveals that he is God’s precious Son (cf. 1:1, 11; 9:7, 15:39) and the crowds are flocking to hear him teach with authority.
“With his disciples Jesus withdrew to the Sea and a large crowd of Galileans followed and also from Judea, from Jerusalem, from Idumea, even beyond the Jordan, also Tyre and Sidon. When they heard what he did, large crowds came to him. So he spoke to his disciples instructing them to have a small boat stand close to him because of the crush of the crowd for he healed many and the crowd pushed against him in order to touch him.
Whoever was tormented and those with unclean spirits, whenever they saw Jesus, they fell down before him and cried out, ‘You are the Son of God.’ And he rebuked them many times lest they make him known.” Mark 3:7-15
Religious charlatans do anything to get a crowd and there’s no such thing as bad publicity. Mark makes it clear that Jesus is the real thing. The crowds come because the sick are actually instantly healed by his divine power. And when the demons try to get in on the action and tell everyone who Jesus is, he shuts them down. The demons know who Jesus is, but they do not trust or love him. His actions prove to those willing to see who he is, and they will choose to follow Jesus, not just shout out his identity. Jesus will take no help from the kingdom of darkness.
LORD, thanks that your ministry wasn’t done in secret, but that thousands witnessed firsthand your power over sickness and demonic possession. But help me to also see that you weren’t controlled at all by the gathering throng and you shut down public recognition from the wrong sources.
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