Jesus withdrew to the sea with His disciples; and a great multitude from Galilee followed; and also from Judea, and from Jerusalem, and from Idumea, and beyond the Jordan, and the vicinity of Tyre and Sidon, a great number of people heard of all that He was doing and came to Him. And He told His disciples that a boat should stand ready for Him because of the crowd, so that they would not crowd Him; for He had healed many, with the result that all those who had afflictions pressed around Him in order to touch Him. Whenever the unclean spirits saw Him, they would fall down before Him and shout, “You are the Son of God!” And He earnestly warned them not to tell who He was. Mark 3:7-12
Today's thoughts from today's verses:
We wrap up week three in our series on the Life of Christ from the Gospel of Mark. I strongly encourage you to go online and listen to Pastor Ben’s message again and/or go back over the first four Devotionals again. Then go to Matthew 11:25-30 and read the passage meditatively. Settle in your mind and heart what response the Lord is calling you to regarding “rest.” In the Matthew passage Jesus says, “Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me.” A sermon and Devotionals are helpful, but they can only take you so far. Jesus says, “Learn from me.” Jesus is the one who can teach you what you fully need to know and lead you fully into his amazing “spiritual rest.”
It all begins by responding to Jesus’ invitation, “Come to me.” Even the Scriptures are not enough in and of themselves. The “Written Word” always should lead us to encounter the “Living Word,” Jesus Christ. Over and over again our daily pattern should be – Coming to him – Learning from him – Receiving from him (“spiritual rest” for our souls). Jesus wants us to be followers of him that are thoroughly his followers. We become his followers thoroughly as we learn to “come” to him consistently and continually for all that he is and for all that he has for us.
In today’s passage, great multitudes had come to Jesus from everywhere because they had heard of all that he was doing. They were coming to be healed of sicknesses and to be delivered of unclean spirits. Jesus cared about these needs and he met these needs over and over again. But, first and foremost, Jesus wanted people to come to him and become his thorough followers. There has been a recurring theme so far in the Gospel of Mark that we have not yet addressed. Repeatedly, Jesus has restricted both the unclean spirits and people who have been delivered, from making him known. Why does he do this? Perhaps, Jesus was just concerned that people coming to him with physicals needs would reach such a vast scale that it would literally “crowd” out his being able to call people to come thoroughly to him.
So, how about us? What is it right now that “crowds” out Jesus’ call to us to come to him and follow him thoroughly?
Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:
This would be a great time to develop your own prayer response to the Lord. May we all keep growing in our ability to come to him – learn from him – receive from him (“spiritual rest” for our souls).
Be sure to check out the special posts for this coming Saturday and Sunday.
Posted on Fri, February 2, 2018
by Ken Hart