In Mark 3 we encounter many characters with different beliefs and opinions about who Jesus is.
The religious leaders watch Jesus closely. They know ABOUT Jesus, but they don’t KNOW Jesus. They stalk Him this Sabbath day, fully believing He will heal the man with the withered hand. We sometimes doubt Jesus will meet our needs or the needs of others, but these religious leaders anticipate it. They are certain He could and would heal this man, but instead of that drawing them closer to Him, they try to use it as a trap. Their net to catch Him? “Working” on the Sabbath. They accuse Him of doing forbidden work on the Sabbath as they indignantly storm out of the synagogue plotting His destruction. Hmmmm…Something seems whacked here! Rather than embrace the Messiah they have supposedly been preparing for and waiting for, they want Him to go away so they can maintain their esteemed positions.
Then we encounter the crowds. They follow in enormous masses. They are seeking the miracle; the healing. They too believe He can and will heal if they can just get close enough to touch Him. They follow Jesus for what He can do for them, not who He can be to them. This type of following won’t last long, as they move on to the next quick fix in their lives, never developing a relationship with the healer.
In the midst of the crowds seeking healing are unclean spirits. They know more than any others who Jesus is and what He came to do. They fall down before Him and cry out, “You are the Son of God.” They are the first to acknowledge who He is. But they have no desire to follow Him…they just want Him to leave them alone to their suffering and tormenting. They are content in their evil existence.
We also meet up with Jesus’ family and childhood friends. People who knew Him before the healing and teaching and fame and following. They can’t reconcile who they knew with who they are witnessing. He is misunderstood by those who should know Him best as they proclaim, “He is out of His mind.”
Finally, we see the chosen twelve. They were called to Him. He desired them to come to Him and they came. He appointed them SO THAT they might BE WILTH HIM and He might send them out to preach and have authority to cast out demons. A new covenant with a new chosen people to carry it into the world. Twelve disciples in the pattern of the twelve tribes of Israel from the original covenant fulfilled by Him. Their first and most important job: to be with Him. This is foundational for any other calling. They will know Him, learn from Him, become one in spirit with Him, and THEN be equipped to go out and share Him with others.
Withness before Witness.
May we always be in the eager disciple category. Chosen and willing. Never skipping the first and important step of being with Jesus. And then, fully equipped, being the hands of feet of Jesus to a hurting and hungry world.
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