Crowds Come to See Jesus Performing Miracles

“For the Christian, Heaven isn’t simply a destination; it’s a motivation. (Warren Wiersbe)

Motivation

The news of Jesus performing miracles is spreading rapidly. The more He healed the more the crowds increased. People were coming from all over Palestine and even the lands beyond. The reason so many were flocking to the Lord is clear: Their curiosity had gotten the best of them and because of their compelling desire to be healed.

Now one thing I notice about this episode by the lake is that Jesus meets people’s needs where they are. He doesn’t question people’s motives or scold them for coming to him out of desperation. He doesn’t test them to see how sincere they are or give them a theology quiz to see if they understand who he is. The crowd of people is overwhelming. Jesus has his followers get a boat ready, just in case they rush him like a mob. That boat is Jesus’ escape hatch, just in case things get out of control. Yet in the midst of the chaos of human suffering and clamoring for his attention, Jesus gives his attention to the people, healing many of them, delivering those held captive to evil.

The breach between Him and organized Jewry is deepening. Jesus now withdraws Himself to a boat (possibly Peter’s fishing boat) near the edge of the shore on the Sea of Galilee (v. 7). This gives Him an escape from the pressure of this pressing crowd and at the same time a natural pulpit from which to preach (v. 8-9).

This sudden fame has also brought its problems. Jesus made it clear that not all methods of advertising the truth were acceptable (v. 10-12). He refused to accept the demons testimony as to His deity though such testimony would have been impossible to refute. He doesn’t chide the hungry person for wanting a meal. He starts where people are, and then he shows them that their felt needs are really symptoms of a deeper need, a spiritual need. He helps people get to the root of their needs, to the spiritual void that only He can fill.

Application

What motives of the crowd do you think would have pleased Jesus and what motives would have displeased Him? What is it that doesn’t but should motivate me to come to Him. When do I usually turn to Him for help?

Mark 3:7-12 (English Standard Version)

Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the sea, and a great crowd followed, from Galilee and Judea and Jerusalem and Idumea and from beyond the Jordan and from around Tyre and Sidon. When the great crowd heard all that he was doing, they came to him. And he told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, lest they crush him, for he had healed many, so that all who had diseases pressed around him to touch him. And whenever the unclean spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, "You are the Son of God." And he strictly ordered them not to make him known.

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