Scripture: Mark 3:7-19
Key verse: (9) He told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, so that they would not crush him;
Reflection: I am always particularly interested in the role of “the crowd” in the Gospel of Mark. Here in chapter 3, Jesus is already surrounded by a crowd so great that there were concerns it would “crush” him (3:9), and his disciples have been asked to prepare ways to keep him safe – in this case, by having a boat for him at the ready so he could have a little bit of space. Toward the end of this passage, we are told that Jesus goes home, and even there, the crowd is so great, that he and his disciples can’t even eat (3:20). There is a sense of urgency to this crowd – they want to be near Jesus because he has healed so many (and it is true – read the first two chapters, and you’ll see that his ministry is almost completely one of miraculous healing). The crowd’s great collective hope, the thing that draws them together towards Christ, is their hope in his healing power.
I wonder if the church is that kind of crowd. It seems to me that we who follow Jesus are those who, in one way or another, have either experienced some kind of healing or renewal at his hand, or are longing to find such a blessing from him. The church is a group of people who have heard the good news about Jesus’ ability to bring life, hope, and restoration to the world, and who gather together in hopes of finding these things in his presence.
Where have you experienced healing and wholeness as you have followed Jesus? Do you still expect these things? Is worship, or Sunday School, or service, or a fellowship group you are a part of a place where you open yourself up to earnestly seeking such a blessing?
Prayer: As I seek after Christ, give me a hopeful and expectant heart, trusting that with him, there is life, hope, and restoration. Amen.
Author: Anna Dickson
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].