June 11, 2012
Mark 3:13 And He went up on the mountain and called to Him those He Himself wanted. And they came to Him. NKJV
As we come into chapter three, we find Jesus in the synagogue at Capernaum. The Pharisees were watching Jesus closely because there was a man in the synagogue with a withered hand and they wanted to see if He would heal this man on the Sabbath day. At this point, Jesus’ enemies had already figured out that Jesus loves to help those who have the greatest need.
Jesus said to the man with the withered hand, “Step forward.” Afterwards, Jesus asked, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” The Pharisees should have answered, “To do good and to save life,” but the hardness of their hearts revealed that they did not understand the true nature of God. Jesus was angry, being grieved by the hardness of their hearts, He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored as whole as the other. The room should have exploded with rejoicing as a notable miracle had been done before them, but in the hardness of their hearts they began to look for a way to destroy Jesus. See John 10:10-11.
Verse seven begins with what the theologians call, “The Latter Galilean Ministry” or “the Year of Popularity.” This consists of the second year of Jesus’ ministry and will conclude in chapter six, verse thirteen. As Jesus withdrew with His disciples to the Sea of Galilee, a great multitude of both Jews and Gentiles followed Him. They came from Galilee, Judea and Jerusalem; from Idumeaa’, beyond the Jordan, Perea and the Decapolis. Some of the people traveled over one hundred and fifteen miles in a very dry and mountainous region to hear Jesus teach and to experience His touch.
The crowds were enormous and Jesus touched and healed many but many more pressed in with hopes that they too might be touched by Jesus. As the people pressed in, Jesus had a boat made ready that He and His disciples might escape to, just in case the crowd got out of hand. Many, who had unclean spirits, whenever they saw Him, fell down before Him and cried out, saying, “You are the Son of God.” This was the third time that Jesus did not allow the demons to testify of Him, not wanting demons or any unbeliever to be His ambassadors. Unbelievers will send a mixed message of who Jesus truly is and besides, He has commissioned us to go and spread the Good news (Mt. 28:19-20).
It was after this, that Jesus went up on a mountain and called to Him those He Himself wanted. And they came to Him. He appointed twelve men to be His apostles, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach, and to have power to heal sicknesses and to cast out demons. The twelve disciples were to live with Jesus, walk with Him, hear Him teach and watch Him in all the different situations of life but Jesus also sent them out with power to preach and heal. Jesus taught them, that they might in turn teach others about the kingdom of God. Nevertheless, just having head knowledge of Jesus wasn’t enough; they also needed the power of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 1:8)
Jesus’ great popularity made it difficult for Him and His disciples to even eat bread. His own people thought He was mad or demon possessed, but they did not realize His ability to cast out demons, revealed that He had rendered Satan helpless. His own family came and tried to rescue Him but nonetheless, Jesus remained to do the will of His Father. Jesus is still doing the will of His Father, having bound the strong man; He is able set us free!-->