Mark 3:9-11 “And He told His disciples that a boat should stand ready for Him because of the multitude, in order that they might not crowd Him; for he had healed many, with the result that all those who had afflictions pressed about Him in order to touch Him. And whenever the unclean spirits beheld Him, they would fall down before Him and cry out, saying, “You are the Son of God!”.”
Two groups; the first group was unclean physically, the second group unclean spiritually. Notice their reactions upon encountering Jesus:
- Those who needed to be healed clamored to Him motivated by their belief that they would be healed by just touching Him.
- The second group stopped in their tracks, falling down before Him confessing Him as the Son of God.
One group believed He could heal them, the other group confessed who He was.
Belief and Confession, both fundamental to being in a saving relationship with Jesus.
Mark 3:6: “And the Pharisees went out and immediately began taking counsel with the Herodians against Him, as to how they might destroy Him.”
The Pharisees, strict Jewish legalists who expended great effort to appear loyal to God, did something that seemed to impugn the image they obsessively portrayed, they crossed party lines. They conspired with the Herodians, another Jewish group motivated by the political agenda to keep a ‘Herod’ on the throne under Roman rule. Both groups with agendas, just different motivations. Both jockeying for power and motivated by the aggrandizement of themselves.
How could a group of people who were first hand witnesses to Jesus’ healing conspire to destroy Him? Why would they be opposed to wonders and miracles that improved the lives of others? Was it the authority that radiated from him? Was it because He and his disciples did not follow their rules? Was it because He associated with people they would never socialize with? Was it what He said about the Sabbath? Perhaps all of those but maybe even deeper than that. His presence revealed many things about themselves:
- It exposed their phony veneer to those who held them in high esteem.
- It made them look at themselves for who they really were.
- It challenged their defective thinking of what Holy and Sacred meant bringing condemnation down upon themselves.
- It discredited their displays of piety and devout demeanor.
- It annoyed them because He could read their minds and examine their hearts.
- The adoration they sought from others was being given to Him.
- His compassion elevated the sick, weak, and unclean, eliminating the Pharisees and scribes social class boundaries and privileges.
After being eye witnesses to His power and authority didn’t they have an inkling of what He could do to or for them? Well, maybe they did. Perhaps they realized He had the power and authority to bring their façade tumbling down. By forging an alliance with a group that had the physical resources backed by the might of the Roman Empire, they had a chance to permanently remove Him from the adoring throngs, preserving their power network and their life of social and religious elevation.
What the Pharisees did in Mark 3:6 is so wrong—and we must be careful not to do the same when His presence:
- reveals our phony veneer
- exposes our unrighteous behavior
- challenges our defective thinking about the Holy and Sacred
- discredits our masks of pious and devout conduct
- makes us realize we can keep nothing hidden from Him.
- illuminates our dark thoughts and unclean hearts
- eliminates the boundaries and privileges between us and the sick, weak and unclean—including ourselves.
The only life-saving response for us is to run to Him for cleansing, forgiveness, and healing. He was willing to heal the Pharisees…if they would only have ran to Him instead of trying to preserve the lie they were living.
What does the presence of Jesus in your life reveal about yourself? What behaviors and thoughts do you need Him to heal, cleanse and forgive?
Run to HIM! He’s waiting for you!
Light My Path Ministries offers a study guide on the Gospel of Mark. During the next few weeks this blog will discuss several passages from this gospel.
The Gospel of Mark begins with Jesus’ obedience to baptism. ‘Immediately the Spirit impelled Jesus to go out into the wilderness’. “And He was in the wilderness forty days being tempted by Satan, and He was with the wild beasts, and the angels were ministering to Him” (Mark 1:12-13).
After Jesus was baptized, He was not surrounded by a support group, He did not have a joyful celebration, He was sent—with force— by the Spirit, to a lonesome, deserted, solitary place to deal with Satan and wild beasts. He was challenged, threatened, yet cared for. During those 40 days, Jesus was cared for by angels. They “aided” him—they attended to him. Perhaps they gave him encouragement or simply their presence was a strength to him.
Our obedience in baptism is assailed similarly. I Peter 5:8 says “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” Satan cunningly and creatively undermines our obedience. We might not be in peril from wild beasts but our obedience is assailed by people, society, circumstances, pressures and worries. It is almost as if obedience puts a bulls-eye on our back.
We are not abandoned either. “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation (Hebrews 1:14)?” God provides resources of strength when we are spiritually, physically and emotionally battered. Our despair during those hard times in life increases dramatically if we fail to acknowledge the help God sends to get us through it.
Mark 1:13 is a message of hope, not abandonment; care, not isolation; strength, not weakness. We will struggle living an obedient life. Satan will use every trick to convince us to reject God and choose him. The world we live in will be inhospitable to an obedient heart. BUT, God sends support to sustain, fortify and toughen us and we need to learn to recognize that help.
Think about how you have been ministered to when you have struggled through life or when temptations were hard to resist. Make a list of the circumstances, people, or influences that helped you maintain an obedient life and then praise God for the help He provided during your wilderness days.
The Women Walking With God Conference was last weekend (April 11-12) in Wichita, Kansas. This year the conference sold out early and had to move to a larger venue. Light My Path Ministries always looks forward to attending this conference and the opportunity to advertise our study guides. For information about next year’s Women Walking With God conference watch for postings on their website www.womenwalkingwithgod.org. If you plan to go – buy your tickets early!
Proverbs 12:28 says “In the way of righteousness is life. And in its pathway there is no death.”
How does one walk the path of righteousness? Why do people choose death instead of life?
The answers to these questions can be found in God’s word – The Bible.
Any of the study guides offered by Light My Path Ministries will help you search God’s word for the answers to all your questions.