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Jesus, Crowds, and Demons

Mark 3.7-12
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.
Jesus, perhaps aware of the plot against His life (3.6), withdrew from the synagogue. It was not yet His time to be handed over for crucifixion, so He avoided the ultimate confrontation. But with His growing reputation, the crowds grew, and they followed Him. His reputation had grown so far as to include Gentile regions. We can be certain that even if the religious authorities did not want to acknowledge Jesus' miracles, the common people were taking note. The crowds were getting so large that a boat was made ready for Jesus. Anyone who has been in a large crowd can appreciate the wisdom of this. To be the very center of a large crowd is a dangerous position indeed. The people followed Him, but their devotion to Him did not go beyond what He could do for them. They were seeking a miracle worker. This is a perception that every believer struggles with. Even some of His disciples thought of Him as a tool to release the Jews from Roman rule.

The reference to the evil spirits shows Jesus’ authority over these demons and his unwillingness to accept their acclamation. Both the crowd and the evil spirits then attest to the significance of Jesus but also show inadequate responses to Him.

The evil spirits knew that Jesus was the Son of God, but they had no intention of following Him. Many people followed Jesus but didn’t understand His true purpose for coming. Some people came for miracles, some came to hear His teaching, but they didn’t understand the way of the cross. Knowing about Jesus, or even believing that He is God’s Son, does not guarantee salvation. You must also by faith trust, follow, and obey Him.

Pastor Jeff
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