The Crowds that Are There | Mark 3:7–10
7 Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the sea, and a great crowd followed, from Galilee and Judea 8 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. 9 And he told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, lest they crush him, 10 for he had healed many, so that all who had diseases pressed around him to touch him.
A lot of people come to confusion when it comes to the Bible, especially in recent years. Some have thought it to be unreliable concerning the events it reports. They’ve thought, for instance, that the later disciples of Christ made up stories about Him. They’ve wondered if, perhaps, Mark is smaller because it has earlier, less fantastic stories about Jesus.
The level of detail here points to eyewitness testimony. The areas in vv. 7–8 are all geographically located around the area in which Christ is ministering and historically verified. Mark notes how Christ obscures John the Baptist’s area of impact (cf. 1:5). The writer remembers not only that Jesus got into a boat to teach, but a “small boat” as the NKJV correctly translates v. 9 (later, in 4:1, Jesus stands in a regular boat). He even knows that Jesus had arranged this beforehand!
Note also the level of the testimony of the miraculous. In v. 8, they came because they “heard all that he was doing,” and in v. 10, they sought to touch Him in hopes of being healed. This hints at Jesus somehow exuding healing power. Later, the woman who suffered with blood discharge was healed by secreting a touch (5:24–34). Anywhere He went, people received healing who sought to touch even the fringes of His garments (6:56). It’s clear that Mark presents an omnipotent Jesus Christ.
It’s worth noting with all this that people didn’t come because of what Jesus was teaching—they’re hoping for a miracle, just like many people opening the Bible for the first time. It’s trustworthy, and so is the Christ it presents. However, what Jesus has to say is far more important than any miracle He imparts to the crowds.
What does Christ have to say to you? Read the Scripture, mediate on it, repent, and believe in the gospel (cf. 1:15). As Colossians 3:16 says, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.”