“But Jesus withdrew himself with his disciples to the sea: and a great multitude from Galilee followed him, and from Judaea… And he spake to his disciples, that a small ship should wait on him because of the multitude, lest they should throng him. For he had healed many; insomuch that they pressed upon him for to touch him, as many as had plagues” (Mark 3:7, 9-10).
“But Jesus withdrew himself”
Father, I thank You for the example that You have given me in Christ. I thank You for sending Your Son into this world to save me. I thank You that in Christ, I can be forgiven of my sin, and I pray that You would forgive me for my sin this day.
I see in Christ One Who desired to pull away from the crowds. Surely, He ministered to the crowds and loved people, but I also see a way in which Christ appreciated solitude. I pray that You would help me to pull away from it all. I pray that You would help me to realize that I must spend alone time with You.
Jesus withdrew Himself, and so must I. Teach me, Lord, how I ought to live. Teach me, Lord, how I ought to honor You with my life and how to do what is pleasing in Your sight.
“with his disciples to the sea”
Father, I thank You that when Jesus withdrew in this verse, He did so with His disciples. I see in Jesus’ love for His disciples a love for me too. I thank You that in the life of the disciples, I can see imperfections. I can see flaws. I can see failures.
I am reminded of Peter, who gave into fear and failed in his faith when Jesus told Peter to come to Him on the water. I see that Peter was a man who gave way to fear yet again during a great time to testing: When Jesus stood before the Sanhedrin, Peter denied his Lord three times.
Moreover, I see Peter again in the book of Galatians as a man who gave way to the fear of man when he was encountered by the Jews. Nevertheless, Jesus loved Peter and died for Peter.
I see in James and John a zeal that was not commendable when they sought to bring down fire upon the Samaritans. However, John recognized that he was a disciple whom Jesus loved. Thank You for loving Your disciples, Lord Jesus. Thank You for loving me.
“and a great multitude from Galilee followed him, and from Judaea”
I see in the verse today that there were a great number of people who followed Jesus. Jesus had many followers, but not many were true believers. I see in the book of John that many people believed, but that their believing was not true, saving faith.
I see in the world today that there are many who are following Jesus for the wrong reasons. I see that there are many who claim to know Jesus but do not actually know Him. I would be misguided in saying such a thing if Your Word did not say that this would happen. Many will say, “Lord, Lord,” but the reality is that many people who think they know Jesus do not know Him.
I pray that You would make me certain of my relationship with Christ. Teach me assurance of my salvation and confirm my calling and election.
“And he spake to his disciples”
Father, I pray that You would speak to me. Jesus, I pray that You would speak to me. Holy Spirit, I pray that You would speak to me. Speak to me, Lord; I need to hear Your voice. So often, I can get so distracted, and I know that in my distractions, I will not hear Your voice.
I see in the life of Elijah a man who heard Your voice. But Your voice was not in the wind, it was not in the earthquake, and it was not in the fire. Instead, Your voice was in the low whisper. Teach me, Lord, to hear Your voice. Teach me, Lord, to hear Your voice in the low whisper of Your Word.
I thank You that I can know for sure that You have spoken to me from Your Word. I pray that I would make much of the fact that You have spoken to me through Your Word. I pray that You would excite me about Your Word and instill in me a passion for Your Word.
“that a small ship should wait on him because of the multitude, lest they should throng him”
What a compassionate Savior the world has been offered in Jesus Christ. Although the crowds sought Jesus for the wrong reasons, Jesus still loved them. Jesus could have gotten away, but instead He stayed to meet the people. Although the people sought Jesus for the wrong reasons, Jesus still had compassion on the people, not wanting anyone to perish, but for all to come to repentance.
I pray that You would give me a heart like Jesus. Give me a heart for the lost. I pray that the lost would come to know Christ truly and not be deceived in their thinking.
“For he had healed many”
Jesus is the Healer. Jesus is the Great Physician. There will come a day when there will be no more disease and no more sickness. There will come a day when Jesus will wipe away every tear from the eyes of man.
What a blessing it is that Jesus came to heal. What a blessing it is that there will be a day when sickness will be no more. Father, I pray that Jesus would heal me of my sinful condition this day.
I see in Christ a Great High Priest Who is ready to cleanse. I see in Christ a Physician Who is ready to heal. I see in Christ a King Who is ready to rule over the sin in my life. I see in Christ a Lord Who is ready to be my Master.
“insomuch that they pressed upon him”
While the crowds may have been misguided in some of what they were doing, one thing is for sure: they pressed upon Christ. They moved toward Christ. I pray that I would also move toward Christ. I pray that I would never let anything get in my way of moving toward Jesus.
This world seeks to pull me away; it seeks to distract me and get me off track. But I pray that I would press upon Christ. I pray, Father, that You would fix my gaze upon Jesus and teach me how to draw nearer to Jesus each day.
I know that Christ should be everything to me. However, I see that I am far from who I ought to be. Teach me to press upon Christ this day.
“for to touch him, as many as had plagues”
For those who were able to lay hold of Christ, it is said that they were healed. Father, Sovereign Creator and Ruler of the Universe, gracious God and Judge of all the earth, I see that I have sinned against You. I see that I have broken Your law.
I am aware of the fact that You are a righteous Judge Who must punish sin. You are just in all Your ways, and You will not allow sin into Your presence. But I also see in You a gracious God Who has made a way for me to be forgiven.
Your Word tells me that You sent Your Son into this world, not to condemn the world, but instead to save the world (John 3:16-17). You desire that man would turn to Christ and be forgiven, not that man would be eternally condemned.
I thank You for sending Christ. I thank You for his substitutionary death. I thank You that Christ was punished for my sin and that justice has been served because the price for sin has been paid. I thank You that Christ rose from the dead.
I pray that You would work repentance into my heart this day, that I would turn from sin and turn to You, Lord. I pray that I would touch Christ this day by faith in His finished work and be healed of sin’s consequences that plague me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.