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Mark 3:7-12 Jesus Teaches At The Lake

Posted by adventbiblestudy on November 21, 2012


Mark 3:7-12 NLTse Jesus went out to the lake with his disciples, and a large crowd followed him. They came from all over Galilee, Judea, (8) Jerusalem, Idumea, from east of the Jordan River, and even from as far north as Tyre and Sidon. The news about his miracles had spread far and wide, and vast numbers of people came to see him. (9) Jesus instructed his disciples to have a boat ready so the crowd would not crush him. (10) He had healed many people that day, so all the sick people eagerly pushed forward to touch him. (11) And whenever those possessed by evil spirits caught sight of him, the spirits would throw them to the ground in front of him shrieking, “You are the Son of God!” (12) But Jesus sternly commanded the spirits not to reveal who he was.

 

How many times has Jesus preached on and around the water? Even as a new believer I can see Jesus had a special connection with the water. How many lessons and illustrations has Jesus related to water? Did Jesus use water in all these different lessons to reach out to individuals on a deep personal level?

 

When we look back in Mark’s book we see Jesus came up out of the water, he saw the heavens splitting apart and the Holy Spirit descending on him like a dove. (Mark 1:10 NLTse). This reminds me of the beginning of the Bible, the beginning of creation. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. And the earth was without form and empty. And darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved on the face of the waters. (Genesis 1:1-2 MKJV). How does this relate to Jesus’ early ministry on and around water?

 

Mark shows us how Jesus told His disciples to prepare a boat so Jesus could move upon the waters. Wasn’t the world in a spiritual darkness before Jesus came? Do we take His presence for granted so much today we forget we are only one step away from the same darkness that separated God from His people? Did Jesus come to heal people physically, spiritually, or both? Is there an association between water and healing?

 

When I look back to the previous chapter of Mark, I can see a distinct correlation between where Jesus preached and how He healed, and the sequence of the lessons He taught. At the beginning of chapter two Jesus is in a crowded home. Four men are carrying a paralyzed man to Jesus. Because of the crowd, they could not get to Jesus, so they took the man on the roof, dug a hole and lowered the man in front of Him. Jesus told them, He came not only to forgive sins, but to physically heal in ways people thought were impossible.

 

From there Jesus went to the sea side where He called Matthew Levi, the tax collector. Why would Jesus choose a tax collector, some one most other people hated? Levi invited Jesus to his home for dinner. He also invited his friends, other tax collectors and sinners. The religious leaders following Jesus because He healed a leper also invited themselves to Levi’s house, even though they hated him and tax collectors. Jesus told them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor–sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” (Mark 2:17 NLTse). Can you see the sequence Jesus used to build one lesson upon another? Many people think Jesus directed this statement only at the Pharisees, but who was He eating dinner with? Levi invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. (There were many people of this kind among Jesus’ followers.) (Mark 2:15 NLTse). Jesus was calling all sinners to follow Him. Tax collectors, Pharisees, His disciples, everyone. Is there a lesson for the three classes mentioned here? As a new believer I can see God’s ironic sense of humor. He really likes to make His children think. A tax collector has no problem seeing he is a tax collector, but today, Pharisees have a problem seeing they are Pharisees. The ironic part is, modern day Pharisees will insist Jesus made His pointed statement to the Pharisees following Jesus and not to the other sinners He was dining with. Who did Jesus come to save?

 

At the end of chapter two Jesus and His disciples are walking along a field of grain. The Pharisees accuse them of working on the Sabbath because they are eating grain. Here Jesus teaches another important lesson. “The Sabbath was made to meet the needs of people, and not people to meet the requirements of the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord, even over the Sabbath!” (Mark 2:27-28 NLTse). Many people and modern day Pharisees have a difficult time understanding Jesus’ statement. Some people actually think Jesus is telling them to go out and be like the Pharisees by enforcing every letter of the law they were not able to keep. Is Jesus making a statement only about Sabbath, or the entire law?

 

At the beginning of Mark chapter three Jesus is in a synagogue where He heals a single person. Jesus once again uses the Sabbath to teach a lesson. “Does the law permit good deeds on the Sabbath, or is it a day for doing evil? Is this a day to save life or to destroy it?” But they wouldn’t answer him. (Mark 3:4 NLTse). Did you notice how Mark used the word, “law” in both chapters two and three? What was Jesus trying to accomplish in these two events? Why do they follow one another? There must be a relationship. Why did Mark end this story by telling us what the Pharisees were planning? At once the Pharisees went away and met with the supporters of Herod to plot how to kill Jesus. (Mark 3:6 NLTse). How can the enforcement of the law be more important than the One who gave it, and came to over come its penalty and restrictions?

 

Mark tells us Jesus went to the lake with his disciples, and a large crowd followed him. Many people hear about the miracles He performed, all the people He healed, and traveled long distances to see Him. Can you imagine a father gather up his family, wife and little ones to travel hours, maybe days to see Jesus? They could see groups gathering in towns and villages. Those living on farmers saw long lines of people heading in the same direction. Asking where they were going, they must have heard many stories of how Jesus healed the sick, cast out demons, and the parables He taught. Imagine the conversations on the road. Is this really the Messiah?

 

Along the road they met old friends and made new. Everyone had their opinions. Some believed the Messiah was here to free them from the yoke of Rome. Others looked much deeper and saw He also arrived to remove the yoke of the religious leaders. They exchanged stories about meetings between Jesus and the Pharisees. After hours on the long dusty trail with the sun beating down, they finally arrived. Not only was the lake a place to rest, their final destination, so was Jesus. Imagine the scene. The sun shinning off a sliver lake with people gathered around the Son of God, savoring every word like life itself.

 

It is easy to see not only people were on a journey, but also Jesus. Like us He felt the heat of the sun, cold or the rain and winter. He felt hunger, pain, sorrow and loneliness. He was rejected by the people He was sent to save and forgotten by those he taught. The Son of man began His journey at God’s throne in Heaven. The religious leaders trusted to teach His Word could no longer understand the signs and symbols pointing to Him. They refused to review the scriptures He pointed them to, thereby missing the message He came to give to the world. Why did Mark tell us demons knew who Jesus was, but the Pharisees refused to believe? As a new believer I wonder if there is a deeper message in that fact. Is this why Jesus commanded the demons not to reveal who He was? Is there a connection between Jesus silencing the demons, and the lack of knowledge the Pharisees chose? When Jesus tells demons not to tell us who He is, He is telling us not to listen to them, yhat truth only comes from Heaven?

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