Thursday of Week 2 of Ordinary Time – Gospel

Commentary on Mark 3:7-12

This is a summary text indicating the tremendous drawing power of Jesus with ordinary people. It is in stark contrast with the preceding passages of conflict with the religious leaders who were out to destroy him. People were coming not only from Galilee, where Jesus was living and working, but from Jerusalem and Judea in the south, from across the river Jordan and even from Gentile regions like Tyre and Sidon. They came because of all they had heard about what he was doing.

So great were the crowds that Jesus had to ask his disciples to get a boat so that he would not be crushed. Huge numbers of people, who had heard of his healing powers, wanted to touch him. They felt that was enough to be healed.

Some, possessed by “unclean spirits”, fell down before him and called out:

You are the Son of God!

And Jesus:

…sternly ordered them not to make him known.

As mentioned before, this call by those possessed by “unclean spirits” was not a confession of faith, but an attempt to turn aside the threatening power of Jesus by using the exact name of the opposing ‘spirit’.

Jesus knew that the people were not yet ready for this revelation of his identity. Their attitudes were still largely superficial. They were coming for their own immediate needs and not as true followers. They came to get, not to give or share.

Nevertheless, Jesus would not turn them away. He knew that they had great needs which only he could satisfy. He was full of compassion for them and anxious to bring healing into their lives.

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