Year 2 Day 70
Read - Mark 3:7-12
Message - Alan Burke
Beatlemania swept across the UK and US in the 1960s, it was so bad that the Beatles had to travel to concerts in an armoured car as their fans flocked to them, often chaotic, intense, emotional scenes. That’s what we have here, a chaotic, intense, emotional scene as the crowds come in their droves to Jesus. They were coming not because of the message that he was proclaiming but because of what he was doing, his compassion, how we he healing many. This isn’t the children’s story bible or the Sunday school images that many of us have in our minds, this was chaos.
We can only speculate to how many were coming out to Jesus, what we should notice though is that his fame was far greater than John’s and had a far greater reach. We are told that there were those who came from Galilee(7), then there are those from Idumea, which was 120 miles south, and the regions across the Jordan and around Tyre and Sidon. These places may not be that familiar to us, but they cover a geographical area that matches that of the Israel of old, where the twelve tribes of the people of God settled (Isa. 43:5–6).
In the shadow of the rejection of the Religious leaders as they plotted to kill Jesus (6), we have the contrasting scene of the people of God in their multitudes coming to Jesus from all the twelve tribes, travelling hundreds of miles and more. The crowd is such that Jesus tells his disciples to have a small boat ready for him (9). Because this isn’t a crowd, this is a crush that is the meaning of the word that is translated as crowd here. All of these people were trying to get close to Jesus, he was being harassed, hassled and harangued, they pushed forward, reached out, mobbed him.
Many of those who were there would have heard the teaching of Jesus, they would have heard the things that he had said but the reason they came was not to sit under his teaching, to learn about the kingdom of God (1:15), rather they are there because of his fame and what they can get out of him. The crowd although they were coming had rejected Jesus for who he was and why he came, they were more interested in what he was doing. So much so that this huge clamouring crowds were an imposition to what he came to do and were forcing Jesus to move on, to leave them behind. The crowd had rejected Jesus in favour of who they wanted him to be.
We can be just like them whether we admit it or not. You may think that’s not me, I’m nothing like that crowd, but what about prayer? Prayer is not to tell God what we need, he already knows that, it’s not so that we can go with our shopping list that’s more akin to something many of us sent of as kids in December. Rather prayer is where we commune with the living God, confession to Him of our sense of need, In prayer we acknowledge our dependence on the Lord and give Him His due glory, it builds our relationship with our heavenly Father and instead we come with only a wish list. Lord do this, fix this, we want God to do what we what for us. How much emphasis do we place on adoration, confession and thanksgiving compared to supplication as we bring our prayers? There is a sense that we are just like the crowd when it comes to worship, it’s what we get out of it, we have made worship about us, and we spend more times complaining about the hymns, how long the service was, rather than focusing on why we come and what we are doing, the amazing privilege it is to come to our heavenly Father as his children. We are to look to the good news of God, Jesus Christ how he comes bringing the kingdom of God.
Q76 Which is the ninth commandment?
The ninth commandment is, Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. (Exod. 20:16)