“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.” Mark 3:7-12
How do you feel about crowds? What about being stuck in rush hour traffic? Or when you go to the grocery store and everyone else seems to be there too?
I don’t particularly like being in crowds. But I’ve also learned to just go with the flow of it and try not to let it bother me. Sometimes it can be amusing just to do some ‘people watching’ in the frustration of it all.
I’m glad Jesus doesn’t seem to mind crowds. In this passage, he wisely prepares a boat. But notice it wasn’t to leave the people. It was for the sake of continuing his ministry to them. People from all over the area were coming to Jesus, and they were bringing their problems too. And one by one, we see Jesus taking the time to help each one.
I want you to notice two very special things about this passage that hopefully will encourage you.
First, notice that Jesus isn’t afraid of crowds.
You may say, “OK, that’s nice, but how does that apply to me?”
Even with all the technology around us, most of us still live very crowded lives. We have several concerns pressing on us at all times. The new economic realities force many of us (like myself) to have several jobs instead of just one. Over and over again, I feel as if my life is very crowded–with little signs of relief on the horizon.
But Jesus isn’t scared by all the clutter and noise. In fact, he’s very interested and wants to stick around in the midst of it all. Just tonight I came home from a late meeting and had to fix the toilet seat in our bathroom. I just wanted to relax, but this was a project that needed my attention–and it needed me now. And guess what? Jesus was in that bathroom with me, helping me to fix it.
Second, notice that Jesus took time for each person who came to him. Now think about this for a second. He’s God, right? Of course! So, he could’ve done a one-for-all magic wave and healed everyone at once. I can see it now. Jesus stands on top of a wooden barrel, raises his arms, and does a sign of the cross. Then he says, “There. All better. Now go in peace so me and my homies, I mean disciples, can relax for the rest of the day.”
But that’s not what he did at all. Instead, he took the time to personally be involved in each and every situation. Even for those who were troubled by demons (sort of ironic, but notice that even the demons got some attention that day too).
The point? While we may live cluttered and busy lives, Jesus is not so busy that he has no time for you personally. This passage is recorded to remind you that God is not too busy for you and your problems. The real question is this: Are you too busy to take your problems to Him?
1. If you were in the area that day, would you have taken the time to go and see Jesus? Why or why not?
2. Do you really believe that your life is too cluttered for God to share His presence with you? How so?
3. How does it comfort you to know that Jesus, right now, has time for you? Go ahead, take some time to just be with him right now.