The Prince had just returned to the palace after a long absence. As he walked past a room where several courtiers were talking, He overheard part of their discussion. "I don't understand how He did it - putting up with the crowds and all that." "Me either! If I had been the Prince and gotten the idea of seeing my kingdom, I would have taken servants and guards. Have you heard, sometimes the crowds were so big that he couldn't even eat!" "And that's not all, they were always jostling and pushing, trying to get closest to him. He sometimes had to get in a boat and talk to the people from the water so that they wouldn't crush him." "Can you imagine the heat and the smells! People traveled for days to get to where he was." "They weren't prepared either. I heard he fed them himself more than once to keep them all from fainting." At this point, another courtier joined the circle adding his tidbit, "Once when He'd gone a little distance to try to get some rest for a bit, the crowds found him almost as soon as he arrived." "Instead of sending them away, he taught and fed them just as if he had been wanting them to come with him all along." They all turned to the last courtier expecting him to try to top their stories. Instead, he had a thoughtful expression and slowly asked, "Have you ever wondered why he did it? I mean, I know why he had to go out there, but why did he put up with the crowds and all of that." Just then one of them noticed the Prince walking through the room. They all stopped talking, and the last courtier asked him the question." The Prince got a distant look and smiled warmly as he answered before carrying on, "Compassion and love - I couldn't help it." In Mark 3:7-12 we see Jesus with the crowd - a crowd so big He had to plan an escape route. Study the passage to understand the love and compassion of Jesus and His challenge to you to share it.
Ask God to help you get to know the Lord Jesus better through this passage and make you more like Him.
Read Focus Verses
Read Mark 3:7-12 and notice a repeated word that tells us the theme of these verses.
What word is repeated that helps us find the theme of these verses?
Keyword - Crowd
Marking the word multitude or crowd in today's passage will serve as a visual reminder of the theme of these verses.
Mark the words multitude or crowd in today's passage. You can also mark the word many if you want.
Keyword - Jesus Christ
Jesus is the main character in these verses.
Mark the words naming and referring to Jesus in this passage.
Reading Mark 1:1-6 will help us understand the context for today's passage.
What has just happened and how does that explain Jesus' actions in verse 7?
Who went with Jesus to the Sea of Galilee according to verse 7?
Where Are They From?
What different regions did the people in the crowd come from according to verses 7-8?
Why does the end of verse 8 say that these people had come?
What preparation did Jesus have the disciples make in verse 9?
What does Jesus do in verse 10?
How did the crowd respond according to the end of verse 10?
How did the demons possessing people respond to Jesus in verse 11?
What did they say when they saw Jesus?
What did Jesus say to them in verse 12?
Go ahead and read what is recorded next in Mark 3:13-19.
Where Are We?
Today's passage mentions a lot of different places in and around Israel in the days of Jesus. In verse 7 Jesus withdraws from the synagogue in Capernaum to the sea coast of the Sea of Galilee. You can see how close Capernaum is to the Sea of Galilee in this map.Click To Visit Website
Judea and Galilee
In this map you can see Galilee - where Jesus is in today's account - and to the south the region called Judea.Click To Visit Website
In the last map, you could see the city of Jerusalem in Judea. Here is an artist's rendering of what Jerusalem may have looked like when Jesus was there.Click To Visit Website
Going even further to the south, there were people from Idumaea in the crowd. Notice how far this is from where the Sea of Galilee (especially since most of them would have come by foot).Click To Visit Website
Now to the North
The last places mentioned in today's passage are Tyre and Sidon. Notice how far north these are compared to Galilee as you look at this map.Click To Visit Website
What are some observations you can draw from these maps about what it must have been like to be there?
All the People
How does it change our perception of the crowd to realize how diverse they were in culture and nationality? (For instance, Galileans were considered more country-folk while Judeans were more refined. Then there were the Gentiles from north and south of Israel, and Tyre was a seaport adding even more variety.)
Where Were You Born?
We read of another time when an even more diverse crowd was gathered in Acts 2:1-11. The final verse gives us insight into why this is important.
Why the Detail
Why does God go into so much detail about all the different places these people were from? Why does it matter according to Acts 2:11?
People from Tyre and Sidon came to Jesus in today's passage. In a few chapters we'll see Jesus going up to them in Mark 7:24-31.
He Couldn't Be Hidden
What interesting comment about Jesus' presence does Mark 7:24 add and what does it tell us about Jesus?
The Gentiles, Too
This article helps us understand why it is so significant that the Gentiles from Tyre, Sidon, and Idumaea were coming to hear Jesus, too. Many Jews looked down on the Gentiles (those who are not Jewish), but God had always intended to bless the rest of the world through His special people Israel.Click To Visit Website
In the study plan for Mark 1:21-28 called, "Jesus' Authority," we looked more closely at why Jesus told the demons to be quiet even though they were saying true things about Him. Read Mark 1:23-26 and think about whether you'd want an evil spirit telling everyone about you.
Move but Don't Change
In today's passage, Jesus leaves the place where the Pharisees were trying to cause trouble, but He doesn't stop doing what God wanted Him to do - teaching and healing people. What can we learn from this?
All the way back in Mark 1:28 we read about Jesus' fame spreading.
The Whole City
A few verses later in Mark 1:33 we see that the whole city was gathered to Him.
By Mark 1:45 we see that Jesus had to operate out of deserted places at times because the crowds were so big.
In Mark 2:1-2 He's back in the city, but there are so many people that they couldn't all get to Him.
Mark 2:13 sounds a lot like today's passage.
They Couldn't Even Eat
A few verses after today's passage in Mark 3:20 we see a comment about the crowds that would be funny if it wasn't true.
In Mark 4:1 we see that Jesus actually had to get into the boat to teach that time.
Who Touched Me?
The situation just continued to multiply. In Mark 5:24-34 we read about the crowds being so big that Jesus was always being jostled and bumped.
How do these passages change the way you picture Jesus' earthly ministry?
What does this unglamorous picture of being surrounded by crowds that were always jostling Him and keeping Him from eating - leaving no privacy and sometimes threatening His safety - reveal about Jesus' character?
Mark 6:31-45 gives us an interesting glimpse into Jesus' boundless love. He had taken His disciples apart for a rest because of the crowds. Read about His response when the crowds found Him anyway.
Luke 6:19 tells us more about His wonderful patience.
Matthew 9:36-38 tells us that Jesus was moved when He saw the crowds. Notice why. Also notice that He tells us He wants us to respond the same way.
Why was Jesus moved to have such compassion on the multitudes?
How does Christ instruct His people in compassion in Matthew 9:37-38?
In Matthew 21:8-11 we read about what is often called the Triumphal Entry when Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey to fulfill prophesy and was hailed and praise by the crowds as the Messiah.
A few days later, we read about another crowd in Mark 14:43-46 - an unfriendly crowd arresting Him after dark in the Garden of Gethsemane where He was praying.
The Same Crowd
Now we go back to the general crowd - probably many of the same people who were singing His praises when He entered Jerusalem. Their shouts are very different in Mark 15:1-24.
None of this fickleness surprised Jesus, though it was just as hurtful. Back in John 2:23-25 we read that Jesus didn't base His thoughts and actions on what the crowd thought because He knew it was so changeable.
How do these stories and Jesus' thoughts instruct us in how we should think about crowds?
Died for Them
In Acts 3:13-21 we see that Jesus died for the same people who crucified Him.
Acts 4:10-12 also points this out.
What do we learn about the Lord Jesus in these amazing verses where He has His messengers offer salvation to some of the same people who called for His death?
Romans 5:6-8 shows that each of us, though not alive when Jesus lived on earth, was God's enemy and we were shown the same love and mercy through Jesus' death.
How should this understanding lead us to worship?
In Acts 2:41 we read of a crowd trusting in Jesus Christ, being baptized, and joining themselves to the church - some of them may have been in the earlier crowds that sang "Hosannah" and/or called "Crucify."
Acts 4:4 tells us of more being added to the crowd of believers.
We're still in this period of history when God is saving people. As we see in Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus wants us to help others join the crowd of believers.
Why does the talk about bunches of people continue after Jesus left the earth?
What is a Christian's part in the crowds?
Around the Throne
We see Jesus surrounded by a crowd again in Revelation 7:9-17. Notice how it talks about people from all over the place like today's passage does.
Revelation 21:22-27 tells us that He will be forever in the midst of all His people.
What do these verses tell us about these crowds?
Since God made people, it seems to make sense that He enjoys having them around. But sin made us God's enemies. How did Jesus make it possible for God to be surrounded by His people again?
Read Mark 3:7-12 again remembering what you've seen about Jesus with the crowds.
Jesus and the Crowds
What does this passage teach us about Jesus and the crowds?
Part of the Crowd
Have you repented of your sin and trusted in Jesus Christ so that you are part of His people and thus part of the crowd around Jesus in heaven forever and ever?
Earlier you saw that Jesus had compassion on the crowd and tells His people to pray that God would send people to tell them the gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ. Are you doing this? Will you commit to begin or be more faithful today?
Are you telling people about forgiveness and salvation through Jesus Christ seeking to add to the crowd of people who love and live for Him and who will spend eternity with Him?
We hope this passage has helped you understand Jesus' love and compassion and has challenged you to show that same love and compassion to others.
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