Jesus departed with his disciples to the sea, and a great multitude from Galilee followed him; hearing all that he was doing, they came to him in great numbers from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, beyond the Jordan, and the region around Tyre and Sidon. He told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, so that they would not crush him; for he had cured many, so that all who had diseases pressed upon him to touch him. Whenever the unclean spirits saw him, they fell down before him and shouted, “You are the Son of God!” But he sternly ordered them not to make him known. Mark 3:7-13
- By this time, Jesus was known throughout the Palestinian region. Mark writes here that the crowds gathered from all over. People came from south of Jerusalem and from north of Galilee. We have just a brief picture here of the measures Jesus took so that he could handle the crowds of people who knew that if they could get close enough to Jesus, if they could touch him, they would be healed.
- Why do people come to Jesus? To be healed. Do we still come to Jesus today to be healed? People came to Jesus because they knew that there was something terribly wrong and they were willing to leave their home and travel some distance using whatever means were available because they heard about a man who was healing people.
- Are there greater needs than physical healing? Certainly. But physical ailments are needs too. Please note that Jesus healed people. He had compassion. Compassion not defined as mere empathy, not just an acknowledgment of one's condition, but action with the purpose of abolishing or overcoming the ailment. We live in a broken, fallen world and for those of us who follow Jesus, we must be prepared to proclaim the good news of Jesus to all of us who have all kinds of physical, mental and/or spiritual ailments and be prepared to confront those ailments, not just acknowledge them.
- From the crowd's perspective, they came to be changed. They saw something about themselves that they didn't like and put their hopes on a person they had only heard about, that he could change them. I pray that I do not come to Jesus for a reputation enhancement, but because I know that he is my only hope to be whole and content, to live life as he meant it to be. How far would I be willing to go for such healing?