Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Mark 3:7-11 Jesus heals by the Sea

7 But Jesus withdrew with His disciples to the sea. And a great multitude from Galilee followed Him, and from Judea 8 and Jerusalem and Idumea and beyond the Jordan; and those from Tyre and Sidon, a great multitude, when they heard how many things He was doing, came to Him. 9 So He told His disciples that a small boat should be kept ready for Him because of the multitude, lest they should crush Him. 10 For He healed many, so that as many as had afflictions pressed about Him to touch Him. 11 And the unclean spirits, whenever they saw Him, fell down before Him and cried out, saying, “You are the Son of God.” 12 But He sternly warned them that they should not make Him known.

Previously Jesus healed a man on the Sabbath, in the Synagogue in the presence of the Pharisees then they went out from Him with intentions of plotting His destruction. So Jesus withdraws His disciples from there to the Sea. That is the Sea of Galilee. And it is here that a great multitude from Galilee, Judea and Jerusalem, in the south, Idumea (the Greek name for the ancient territory of Edom south of Judea) and places east of the Jordan River even as far west as Tyre and Sidon cities of Phoenicia on the Mediterranean coast, having heard how many things He was doing were coming to Him.

Now Galilee is in northern Israel and was a mixed land of Jews and Gentiles and was the native home of Jesus’ disciples. While Judea and Jerusalem was the Jewish heartland in the south, both culturally and religiously. Idumea was the territory south of them where the ancient Edomites descendents dwelt. Edom their father was the half brother of Jacob whose offspring went on to become Israel’s fierce enemies. Tyre was the capital of ancient Phoenicia, well beyond Israel’s boundaries in modern day Lebanon, while Sidon was its oldest principal city. Both were major cities in ancient times. In other words Jesus unlike the many would be prognosticators of the day, did not have some localized following. Those who were coming to Jesus came from everywhere and were as an eclectic as a group of people one could find in and around ancient Israel.

Now the reasons for their coming to Jesus literally from every direction, was they were hearing how many things He was doing, casting out demons, and healing people of permanent or lifelong infirmities. Jesus miracles then were attracting people to Himself who had no other hope or options. Therefore people were coming to Jesus from a wide variety of life’s problems and circumstances. That is why Jesus preached and taught the Kingdom of heaven and Himself the means by which one enters it, for in so doing He extended God’s grace to all. Having then settled on a region near the shores of the Sea Galilee not far from the synagogue where He healed the man. Jesus has the disciples prepare a small boat for Him so that He would not be crushed by the growing and thronging multitude. For the Scripture says: “…He healed many, so that as many as had afflictions pressed about Him to touch Him.” Vs. 10 Now the passage says that when unclean spirits saw Him they “…fell down before Him, and cried out, saying, “You are the Son of God.” 12 But He sternly warned them that they should not make Him known.” Vs. 11-12 Even though early on Jesus Christ was testified to as the Son of God, here Jesus forbids the demons from making His Person known. For clearly God does not need demons to testify to His Person (James 2:19). But He does want every individual to believe in Him and testify to His Person for only those who believe in Jesus Christ and confess Him as the Lord will be saved (Rom. 10:9-10). For that is what God requires of us faith in Jesus Christ as God’s Son crucified and raised from the dead so that we might be set free from our sins and saved from the judgment to come. The demons though do not have that opportunity their condemnation is assured. Therefore their declaration of Jesus’ Person is simply a fearful acknowledgment of God within Christ who is their Judge. There is no redemption for Satan and his angel’s, hell is their finial destiny (Matt. 25:41; John 8:24). And that is why Jesus said and did so many mighty works that men and women everywhere, from every walk of life, might turn from their sins and believe in Him through the gospel (John 10:37-38). As the Lord Jesus Christ said to the Apostle Paul when He commissioned him: 17 ‘I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you, 18 ‘to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.’ Acts 26:17-18

People then, as they are now, were coming to Jesus out of myriad of cultural, religious, and life experiences, for all must come to Jesus Christ the Living Waters to experience God’s healing Presence and Power in their lives. For God's invitation is to all: “And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.” Rev. 22:17

Scripture Quotations
The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

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