Copyright ©2018 Keith Holder, Rays of Light Bible Lessons. All Rights Reserved.

Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder

MULTITUDES FOLLOW JESUS

Mark 3:7-12 But Jesus withdrew Himself with His disciples to the sea: and a great multitude from Galilee followed Him, and from Judea, and from Jerusalem, and from Idumea, and from beyond Jordan; and they about Tyre and Sidon, a great multitude, when they had heard what great things He did, came unto Him. And He spake to His disciples, that a small ship should wait on Him because of the multitude, lest they should throng Him. For He had healed many; insomuch that they pressed upon Him for to touch Him, as many as had plagues. And unclean spirits, when they saw Him, fell down before Him, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of God. And He straitly charged them that they should not make Him known. (Also see Matt. 12:15-21)

Previous verses indicate that Jesus, at this time, was in the Galilean area near the city of Capernaum. Now, according to the lesson text, He had moved, with His disciples, to a less populated area along the northern coast of the Sea of Galilee. Jesus obtained a huge following because of the message of repentance and salvation He taught, which He established as coming from God with the performance of compassionate miracles. When He moved from one place to another, the great multitudes continued to follow after Him, desiring to see and hear more of His testimony. In Matthew's account of this event, he merely writes that great multitudes followed Him, and he healed them all (Matt. 15:12). However, Mark gives a more descriptive accounting of those that made up that multitude. He says that they came from Galilee, ...Judea, ...Jerusalem, ...Idumea, ...beyond Jordan, ...Tyre, and Sidon. This area covers practically all parts of the Jewish nation. They had heardwhat great things He did, (and) came unto Him. Although many Jews, especially among their leaders, desired to slay the Savior, many others earnestly sought Him and followed Him wherever His inspired, providential mission on earth took Him.

Because the size of the multitudes continued to grow and come near to see and hear Him, Jesus asked His disciples to bring a small ship that He could board and restrict access to Him from the many people that were thronging around Him. Since most of the disciples with Him at this time were fishermen, it is probable that one of them furnished Him one of their fishing vessels. Because of the many men and women that He healed, the multitudes that surrounded Him pressed upon Him for to touch Him. Even those that were possessed by unclean spirits were brought to Him for His healing powers. When they came in to the presence of the Lord, these spirits of Satan that possessed the bodies and wills of men and women, immediately recognized Him, fell down before Him, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of God. It never ceases to amaze me that demons readily recognized Jesus as God's Son, and yet those that professed to be God's devout children, who had access to all scripture that foretold of His coming, completely failed to accept Jesus as the promised Messiah, the Son of God. Yet the same is true today. Many declare themselves to be the saved among God's children. They profess to believe that Jesus is the Savior, yet they fail to be obedient to God's complete plan of salvation, which includes submitting to water baptism, and is specifically required by Jesus through His apostles (See Matt. 28:18-20).

During Jesus' entire ministry on earth, multitudes followed Him. Because of this, Jesus desired those that thronged around Him, to hear His teaching and witness His compassionate healing power, that they should not make Him known. Jesus did not seek glory by their applause and praise. As an example to all people, He demonstrated meekness and humility during His entire lifetime. Lest those He healed, as well as their loved ones, be overtaken with self-pride - lest these men and women consider themselves as being highly favored by God, Jesus expressed His desire that they not brag about it by spreading the news throughout the nation of the Jews. They, too, should humbly accept this gift of God through His Son, Christ Jesus, not as a conqueror ruling an earthly kingdom, but as a humble servant of God and His children. This nature of Christ would fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah found in Isa. 42:1-4. No doubt the ruling Jews, including the sacrilegious Pharisees, expected a Messiah that would come to benefit only the Jewish nation. But, if they had read and believed this prophecy of Isaiah, they could easily have understood that salvation offered by God through His Son, Christ Jesus was to be offered to the entire world, including all Gentile nations.