Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the sea, and a great crowd followed, from Galilee and Judea and Jerusalem and Idumea and from beyond the Jordan and from around Tyre and Sidon. When the great crowd heard all that he was doing, they came to him. And he told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, lest they crush him, for he had healed many, so that all who had diseases pressed around him to touch him. And whenever the unclean spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, “You are the Son of God.” And he strictly ordered them not to make him known.
The Twelve Apostles
And he went up on the mountain and called to him those whom he desired, and they came to him. And he appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach and have authority to cast out demons. He appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter); James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James (to whom he gave the name Boanerges, that is, Sons of Thunder); Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.
Comment: Jesus for some reason, herein undisclosed, temporarily shifted his ministry to the Sea (Lake) of Galilee. Maybe it was just to get away from the home town influence. But he was busy. People came from the surrounding area (including both sides of the Lake) and, remembering that there were no modern methods of transport, according to the list of towns here, people travelled up to about 125Km – that is on foot or animal’s back! It seems as if he was pushed by the crowd so that he had to do most of his teaching and ministry from the deck of a boat anchored near the shore. It was obviously a very successful time with many healed and, as is described here, unclean spirits expelled.
While there he took time to have a bit of privacy up the mountain and there chose the twelve whom we from hereon recognize as His apostles. If when you read in other places you get a bit tangled up because the names sometimes are a bit different, remember our habit to have special family names and nicknames, and in some communities you can chose an alias. My brother calls me by a name that no one else does and in Ethiopia people not infrequently changed their names. Thaddeus here is in Luke called Judas the son of James. Judas Iscariot forsook and denied Him. For the remainder it is very interesting to read the Bible and church history to discover what this small band achieved after the Resurrection and coming of the Holy Spirit upon them.
Prayer: Help me to be a faithful follower of Yours, Lord Jesus.
One thought on “Mark 3: 7-19….A very busy period!”
Thank you Barry for your comments on this passage. People did come from far and wide, and their main transport, as you wrote, was by walking or by riding an animal. News had obviously spread far and wide too, and when people were being healed and given such an amazing gift, almost like a new life, those who were healed couldn’t stop talking about this, and praising Jesus who had healed them. There are many people today waiting to be healed from many diseases and health problems, but as a Christian, we recognize the main problem as sin, and of course, only Jesus can forgive us and make us whole and clean. It is interesting that James is the son of Alphaeus, and Matthew is also the son of Alphaeus, so I assume that they are brothers. God bless you.