The Risk of Merely Appreciating Jesus

A Bible Exposition Of Mark 3:7-12

We return to Mark today after two months away. Jesus has been waiting patiently for us. We left him where the opposition against his life and ministry has intensified to the point of people plotting to kill Him. It was a pretty good place to pause our study because now Mark is transitioning into a new section of his recounting of the life and ministry of Jesus. It was an intentional stopping point because this serves as the perfect re-entry point.

As we dive back in we need to get our bearings on where we left off once again. Jesus has just finished round after round with the Pharisees. We know that they had sent some of their emissaries up to Galilee from Jerusalem to spy on Him.

Jesus is upsetting the synagogues as He goes about defying the tradition of man by honoring His heavenly Father. Mark organizes five situations that happened and packages them all together in this section:

  • Forgiving and Healing the Paralytic (2:1-12)
  • Calling Levi into Discipleship (2:13-17)
  • Fasting & New Wine (2:18-22)
  • Sabbath & the Grain fields (2:23-28)
  • Sabbath Healing (3:1-6)

These are the arenas that the outright, in your face opposition to Jesus surfaces. This is the hostility that everyone could see. It was public. It was bold.

But, meanwhile there is an alternative to outright opposition. It isn’t in your face rejection. It is a subtle form of rejection. It is indifference. 

Not indifference as in a lack of passion or zeal. As we will see the crowds are filled with passion and zeal for Jesus. But when it comes to embracing Jesus, the Son of God, they are absolutely indifferent.

And so we will see as we have been that Jesus presents the dividing line. It comes down to who you believe He is, and how you respond to his identity. 

Most important fact about you is how you relate to Him!

In Israel right now admirers are many, but true worshippers are few. As we will see it is possible to be among God’s people, interact with Jesus, engage with Him, even have your life impacted by Him, and yet still remain separated from God… spiritually blind.

  • Admirers are not the same as those who abandon all to follow Him.
  • The crowds, (i.e., the masses) are so far away from understanding Jesus.

An important question for us to answer is: Why does Mark put this account here? 

The answer is because he is chronicling the rejection of Jesus by His own people. And what’s so applicable to us, is that it is possible to be face to face with Christ, and totally miss Him.

This is John’s testimony played out in real time:

  • John 1:5—The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
  • John 1:11—He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him.

Please hear this message today. Don’t disregard this message because you have heard Jesus preached about so many times before.

Mark Summarizes Two Inadequate Responses to Jesus (that provide clarity in assessing our own relationship to Him)

  1. Misjudged yet admired by the masses (7-10)
    • Crowds are coming broadly (7-8)
    • Crowds are coming enthusiastically (9)
    • Crowds are coming superficially (10)
  2. Recognized yet despised by the demons (11-12)

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.