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First Galilean Tour Part 8: The Popularity Of Jesus.

Is it save to become popular? Do we need popular approval to be successful?

Why did Jesus avoid popular applause?

Mark 3:7  But Jesus withdrew with His disciples to the sea. And a great multitude from Galilee followed Him, and from Judea 

The Gospel of Mark notes repeatedly that Jesus moved from place to place to escape undue popularity or undue opposition.

Mark 1:45  However, he went out and began to proclaim it freely, and to spread the matter, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter the city, but was outside in deserted places; and they came to Him from every direction. 

Mark 7:24  From there He arose and went to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And He entered a house and wanted no one to know it, but He could not be hidden. 

What a sad account. He brought the good news of the gospel and Pharisees were continually on His case, planning His execution.

His withdrawal here was evidently prompted by the desire to avoid further conflict with the religious, and perhaps also the political, authorities.

Mark, accordingly, interrupts the series of incidents of conflict in order to comment on the growing popularity of Jesus, which was accompanied proportionately by the increasing hatred and opposition of the Jewish leaders.

 Mat 12:15  But when Jesus knew it, He withdrew from there. And great multitudes followed Him, and He healed them all. 

The incident of healing the man with a withered hand occurred in this interior city of Galilee, at Sepphoris. The close parallel accounts of the synoptic writers imply, further, that when Jesus left the interior of Galilee He went “to the sea” of Galilee, possibly in the vicinity of the Plain of Gennesaret, to the south of Capernaum. He no doubt found a comparatively secluded stretch of shore away from the cities (see on Luke 5:1).

Luke 5:1  So it was, as the multitude pressed about Him to hear the word of God, that He stood by the Lake of Gennesaret, 

 All three synoptic writers mention the great throngs now following Jesus. This situation made apparent the need for a more effective organization, and of more witnesses to devote their entire time to meeting the demands made upon Jesus by the throngs.

Two of the three gospel writers, significantly, call attention to the “great multitude” that followed Jesus and clung to Him, immediately prior to the appointment of the Twelve and the Sermon on the Mount.

Luke 6:17  And He came down with them and stood on a level place with a crowd of His disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem, and from the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear Him and be healed of their diseases, 

Mark 3:8  and Jerusalem and Idumea and beyond the Jordan; and those from Tyre and Sidon, a great multitude, when they heard how many things He was doing, came to Him. 

The word “Idumaea” occurs only here in the NT. Josephus says that Idumaea was conquered by John Hyrcanus more than a century before the time of Christ, and its people forced to at least a nominal acceptance of the rites and practices of the Jewish religion.

On a Bible map you notice that the Edumaea was previous called Nabatean and Edom.

So the people of Petra left their beautiful city and walked all the way to the Sea of Galilee to listen to the best news ever.

Some of the people who listened to Jesus and who were healed by Him shared their testimony to people of Petra.

Archaeologists discovered the ruins of ancient Bosra in Jordan. Some of them also heard the news of Jesus and they too walked al the way to the Sea of Galilee to be healed, spiritually and physically.

I had the privilege of visiting Tyre and Sidon on many occasions. During the time of Jesus some of the Jews lived amongst the heathen of this area. The good news spread over the borders of Israel and reached these people as well.

The ruins of ancient Tyre can be seen in the waters of the Mediterranean see. Ezekiel predicted that this mighty coastal city would disappear and here you see the evidence of the prophecy.

I see them in my mind’s eye people walking with expectation to one of the biggest audiences in the life of Christ.

How did Jesus handle the crowd?

Mark 3:9  So He told His disciples that a small boat should be kept ready for Him because of the multitude, lest they should crush Him. 

This detail of the gospel narrative is noted only by Mark. It seems that during the remaining months of the Galilean ministry the small boat for which Christ now made arrangements was always at hand when there was need for it . Perhaps the boat belonged to Peter.

In what manner did Jesus cared for the destitute crowd? And doe He care for us when we come to Him?

Mark 3:10  For He healed many, so that as many as had afflictions pressed about Him to touch Him. 

The people were not hostile, but eager, each to have his own needs ministered to.

Evidently those who were sick or demon-possessed felt that there was magic in touching Him.

The air was filled with hosannas by people who suffered for many years and who now received relief.

Mark 3:11  And the unclean spirits, whenever they saw Him, fell down before Him and cried out, saying, “You are the Son of God.” 

Christ’s refusal of their testimony becomes more significant.

Mark 3:12  But He sternly warned them that they should not make Him known.

Not make him known. At this point in the narrative Matthew records in addition a quotation from the OT, prophetic of the ministry of Jesus to the needs of humanity.




This is a very interesting statement. Amongst the crowd that came for healing, there were some heathen truth seekers as well.

Let read what Isaiah predicted about Jesus:

Isaiah 42:1  “Behold! My Servant whom I uphold, My Elect One in whom My soul delights!

I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles. 

Who is this Servant? Matthew says His Name is Jesus. What service did Jesus rendered?  The service of serving us with the water of His grace, His salvation and His forgiveness.

In the upper room Jesus the Servant not only washed the feet of the disciples, He washed your feet and He washed my feet. What a Servant. The Sovereign of heaven bowing low before us and washing away our sins.

Jesus frequently referred to Himself as having been sent by His Father to carry out the  assigned mission of our salvation.

Matthew 20:28  just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” 

Luke 22:27  For who is greater, he who sits at the table, or he who serves? Is it not he who sits at the table? Yet I am among you as the One who serves.

Jesus took up the lowest position in His days. Not even a Jewish slave was to wash the feet of people. This degrading task was only done by foreign slaves. My dear friend Jesus became that foreign slave and washed my feet, your feet.

Largely because of these prophecies Isaiah is known as “the gospel prophet.”

Isaiah 42:1  “Behold! My Servant whom I uphold, My Elect One in whom My soul delights! I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles.

Where were the tree members of the Godhead revealed? At the baptism of Jesus.

Justice to the Gentiles. That the message of divine grace was not to be alone for the Jews, but for all men, is one of the outstanding truths uniquely set forth by Isaiah.

42:2  He will not cry out, nor raise His voice, Nor cause His voice to be heard in the street. 

The Messiah was to accomplish a mighty work in a quiet and humble way, without pomp or show.

42:3  A bruised reed He will not break, And smoking flax He will not quench; He will bring forth justice for truth. 

Messiah will minister tenderly to the weak, the bruised, and the oppressed. He is a friend to the humble, contrite sinner—to every man who finds himself in need. Men who appear to themselves and to others almost beyond hope will find in Him the comfort, strength, and courage they so much need.

Smoking flax. That is, a linen wick flickering and ready to go out.

42:4  He will not fail nor be discouraged, Till He has established justice in the earth; And the coastlands shall wait for His law.” 

In spite of the difficulties He may have to face, Messiah will persevere toward the goal of restoring the just law of the universe to this earth.

Who could be the “coastlands”? It is a common OT designation for all countries bordering on the Mediterranean, here equivalent to “Gentiles.”

Restoring the just law. The Heb. torah, “law,” includes all the revealed will of God.

 Dead Sea scroll 1QIsa reads, “He shall cause to possess [or, inherit] His law.”

Psalms 19:7  The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul;

Pro 3:1  My son, do not forget my law, But let your heart keep my commands

Isaiah the prophet envisions the conversion of the Gentiles.

By their belief that those who obey their concept of the definition of the law, may be saved they made the Lawgiver a loveless Tyrant.

Jesus comes along and restores the beauty of the law. As a matter of fact, He became the personification of the law.

By the grace of God I want to serve this marvellous, wonderful, loving and forgiving and saving Jesus with all my heart. What about you my dear friend?


The appointment of the twelve disciples.

Updated on 26th Oct 2022

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