The events in Mark 3:7-12 happened after the Pharisees conspired with the Herodians to kill Jesus. He had to decide if He would force them to act immediately and risk short-circuiting His ministry or if He would leave the scene to bide His time while He prepared for a major move that would bring His ministry of servanthood to full maturity.
Jesus set a good example for us to follow. He withdrew to the sea to regain His balance in the rhythm of life. Work is an activity of high intensity and high production, but even creative work has to be balanced by a period of rest so we can work again. Modern society has upset the rhythm of life. Work has been devalued and play has been invaded by the purpose of work. Because of the multitude of leisure options, play has been subjected to a time-clock schedule. Work is a necessary evil, play is work, worship has become idolatry and rest is a short course in death.
Those of us who live close to the sea understand how it can renew us. It has a message for us in the ever-changing water. It reminds us of the words in John 1:16- “grace for grace.” Grace is God’s free gift of love for us. Grace for grace is like the waves of the sea. God’s unending love washes over us and refreshes us.
Jesus’ periods of rest were often interrupted by the needs of the people He met, and the events in this passage from Mark are no exception. The demons knew that Jesus was the Son of God. Jesus rebuked them. He wanted His teachings and actions to proclaim who He was. His actions were proof to those willing to see who He is, and they will choose to follow Him, not just shout out His identity. Jesus doesn’t need any help from Satan, and He won’t take it either.
Jesus was followed to his place of rest by a crowd. They came from all over the countryside. His popularity caused great concern for the religious leaders. He was challenging their man-made system with all of its rules. Jesus came to free the people from this legalistic form of religion. The religious leaders began planning to get rid of Jesus. The people embraced Jesus as God’s Son. They weren’t disappointed. That is still true today. Our relationship with Him is the most important part of our lives. How can we be with Him?
- McKenna, D.L. & Ogilvie, L.J.: The Preacher’s Commentary Series, Vol. 25: Mark (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Inc.; 1982; pp. 72-76)
- MacArthur, J.F. Jr.: The MacArthur Study Bible: New American Standard Version (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers; 2006)
- Berni Dymet, “The Multitudes.” retrieved from firstname.lastname@example.org
- Dave Wyrtzen, “The Jesus Movement Exploding.” Retrieved from email@example.com
- Ron Moore, “The Crowds.” Retrieved from www.ronmoore.org
- Ramona Davies, “That They Might Be With Him.” Retrieved from Crosswlak@crosswalkmail.com