A Snapshot of the Ministry of Jesus: Mark 3:7-12
“7) Jesus withdrew to the sea with His disciples; and a great multitude from Galilee followed; and also from Judea, 8) and from Jerusalem, and from Idumea, and beyond the Jordan, and the vicinity of Tyre and Sidon, a great number of people heard of all that He was doing and came to Him. 9) And He told His disciples that a boat should stand ready for Him because of the crowd, so that they would not crowd Him; 10) for He had healed many, with the result that all those who had afflictions pressed around Him in order to touch Him. 11) Whenever the unclean spirits saw Him, they would fall down before Him and shout, “You are the Son of God!” 12) And He earnestly warned them not to tell who He was.” Mark‬ ‭3‬:‭7‬-‭12‬ ‭
As we move to this next section of the Gospel of Mark, he gives a snapshot of the overall ministry of Jesus. As mentioned previously, Mark focused more on the deeds of Jesus than on the teachings of Jesus.
We here discover that people came from many places with many needs and were following Jesus. “ … a great multitude heard of all that He was doing and came to Him.” (Vs 8)
They were pressing in on Him so desperately, that it almost became dangerous. It was at this point that Jesus ordered the disciples to have a boat stand ready for Him so the crowd might not trample Him. Sick, afflicted and oppressed people were desperate for help and no case was too difficult for Jesus. He healed the sick and set captives free.
It must be noted that the priests, Sadducees, scribes and Pharisees were not getting these results. They claimed to be ministers of God but were powerless. They were threatened by Jesus both because of His teaching and His miraculous deeds.
Paul later adopted the same test for true ministers of the gospel. He measured both their message and their deeds. The power of God had to accompany their ministry. Read texts like 1 Corinthians 2:1-5 and 1 Corinthians 4:19-20. If the power of God did not accompany their ministry, Paul questioned their validity.
This is what separated Jesus from the religious leaders of His day. This is what separated the early church from false religions. Jesus promised that His followers who would receive the Holy Spirit. (See Acts 1:4-8) I cannot find biblical record of this being repealed or changed.
Dwight L Moody became frustrated by the mere academics of his pastoral students. They were filled with knowledge but carnal and void of Spirit. His solution over the protest of the teachers was to cancel classes and draw the students away for a week dedicated to seeking God and the anointing power of the Holy Spirit. They were not disappointed.
The same renewal is happening today around the world in many places. Reports are abounding, especially in strong Islamic and politically oppressive places of God working in extraordinary ways. God is reaching people with a gospel accompanied by signs and wonders, reverence and holiness.
I have had numerous conversations with people from different Christian circles and different parts of the world so far this year, and the stories are the same. Two things are common and consistent. First, the spread of the true gospel is being accompanied by the power of God, holiness and reverence. Second, the dead but apostate church is becoming increasingly more sinful, worldly carnal and oppressive of biblical truth, but is void of power and Spirit. A polarization is taking place among what is called “Christian.”
As you study the Gospel of Mark, the same polarization was happening in the days of Jesus. But don’t miss this point; it was the powerless religious crowd that persecuted and crucified Jesus. They were His critics, judge, jury and executioners.
There was only one problem; God didn’t abandon Jesus to the grave. He not only rose from the dead, He poured out His mighty Holy Spirit on His followers. He started building His Church on truth and power. He has not changed His approach or strategy.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global