Different attitudes towards Jesus
Mark 3:7-21 (NIV)
7 Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the lake, and a large crowd from Galilee followed. 8 When they heard all he was doing, many people came to him from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, and the regions across the Jordan and around Tyre and Sidon. 9 Because of the crowd he told his disciples to have a small boat ready for him, to keep the people from crowding him. 10 For he had healed many, so that those with diseases were pushing forward to touch him. 11 Whenever the evil spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, “You are the Son of God.” 12 But he gave them strict orders not to tell who he was.
13 Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him. 14 He appointed twelve—designating them apostles— that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach 15 and to have authority to drive out demons. 16 These are the twelve he appointed: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter); 17 James son of Zebedee and his brother John (to them he gave the name Boanerges, which means Sons of Thunder); 18 Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot 19 and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. 20 Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. 21 When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.”
The disciples’ devotion
Jesus withdraws with His disciples to the lake. After meeting the gathered crowd, His disciples arrange for a boat to give Jesus space to preach. Later Jesus ascends a mountain to call and choose twelve disciples. Their priorities are, first, to spend time with Him and, second, to go to preach and drive out demons with Jesus’ unique authority. The twelve are Simon Peter, James, John, Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James, Thaddeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot, His eventual betrayer.
Learn from this historic and unrepeatable event that it is important to serve Jesus in preaching His word and helping with people and in practical matters. Christians should serve like this in the fellowship of a church where people love Christ, His word and His gospel.
But the first priority must always be devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. We should spend daily quality time alone with Him reading, studying His word, and praying. Our prayers should include confession, praise, thanksgiving, making requests, and praying for others. Devotion to Christ is the springboard for serving Him.
The crowd’s curiosity
Between leaving the lake and climbing the mountain, Jesus and the disciples are with the crowd. Many people come from Galilee and around. Jesus heals diseased people pushing forward to touch Him, and He deals with spirit-possessed victims. They recognise Him as the Son of God. Jesus orders them not to tell others about Him. That is His disciples’ task as they trust, obey, and serve Him. The crowd’s attitudes towards Jesus will vary from curiosity to conviction, and from being comforted to being challenged. So many crowd around that Jesus and His disciples cannot eat a well deserved meal. Curious crowds follow crazes or popular fads, but only His trusting and following disciples will take time to get to know Him well.
The family’s failure
Jesus’ mother and immediate family fail to recognise who He is and what He does, despite His well attested miracles and obvious unique authority. Family members come to take Him, saying He is insane!
Someone rightly said that Jesus must either be bad, or mad or God. The Bible documents His purity and righteousness —He certainly is not ‘bad’. His sanity is such that no-one could contradict Him logically. He is not ‘mad’. That leaves only one option—proven, proclaimed and made clear in The Bible. Jesus is God. ‘Jesus’ means ‘God saves’. He is the eternal God in flesh who alone can save us from death and Hell. Our attitude to Him should be one of total trust and submission.
 . Romans 5:18, 1 John 2:1, John 2:29.
 . John 7:45-46.
 . John 8:58, John 14:8-9.
Questions on Chapter 10
Mark 3:7-21 Different attitudes towards Jesus.
A. Why should the disciples of Jesus spend time with Him before going out to serve Him? Mark 3:14 Luke 10:38-42 John 15:5 Psalm 91:1
B. Do you think the crowd was really seeking God or just being curious about Christ’s miracles? Does verse 12 give you a clue? Mark 3:8 Jeremiah 29:13 Mark 7:6
C. How and why do Jesus’ family misjudge Him so badly? Should any family opposition prevent us from following Him? Mark 3:21 John 1:11 Mark 6:4