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People need hope more than ever. As followers of Jesus, we have this promise in Colossians 1:27.....Listen to Radio Podcast featured on Moody Radio April 17 2024 

Mark 030 - Crowded

Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.”

Mark 3:20,21

Crowds can be terrifying. Whether in a subway or at a sold-out stadium, or a packed theater, people are pressing in on you from all sides. No one says, “Excuse me.” You get pushed along and there’s nothing you can do to fight it. If you try to stop and go against the flow, you’ll get knocked down and trampled. You’re out of control.

My most frightening example came after attending opening day at Yankee Stadium. They were playing the hated Boston Red Sox. There had been several yelling matches and even a brawl where an entire section of the upper deck erupted into a massive fight.

After the game, people were desperately trying to get out and go home. To say the least, there was tension in the air. As fans from both sides started yelling and pushing, I had no choice but to go where everyone around me went. First one way, then another.

Eventually I saw an exit sign and tried to make my way towards it. At first, I was pushed beyond it, but the crowd pushed me back and I was just able to slip out of the mass of humanity and out. It was just so scary.

Here we have Jesus and his disciples in a house, and it’s crowded. I don’t know how crowded it was in that house, but it must have been really crowded. They couldn’t even eat. Now, that’s some kind of crowded!

Somehow, his family hears about what’s going on and tries to step in. I hope their motives were good, wanting to look after Jesus and protect him. But it’s hard to guess what’s in people’s heads.

But their clear goal was to take Jesus out of there, even if it had to be done by force. Their intention was to take him, grabbing him against his will, if necessary.

It may be odd to thing to think or say, but then it’s me. Here we have two very different groups of people trying to do the exact same thing. They may be using two wildly different strategies, two very different tactics, but with the same goal. To control Jesus.

Think about it.

· First, we have the crowd of people in the house. They have pushed themselves in so tightly that Jesus is stuck. They have achieved their goal; they are controlling Jesus. It’s so crowded that it’s impossible for him to leave or eat.

· Second, we have his family who are going to try and push themselves in on Jesus. Their goal is to take control of their family member, forcing him to come with them. They may not be in control at this moment, but they clearly have a goal to get in control of Jesus.

This is exactly where we find people today. One group thinks they have control of Jesus. Some are leaders of organizations that claim to represent him and his interests. They are crowding around Jesus so tightly that it’s almost impossible for a normal, average person to get close.

And then we have the people who want to have control of Jesus. They see potential power and how to use it to control the common people. But their goal is just to replace the current power structure with their power.

But Jesus isn’t going to be controlled by either group. Or any group for that matter. Jesus isn’t going to be put into a box. Jesus is God and he defines himself. Period. No group, no political party, no one gets to define or control God. Only he does that.

When Moses spoke to the burning bush, remember how God described himself.

I am who I am.

Exodus 3:14

God is who he is and doesn’t need any help. He doesn’t need any controlling. He doesn’t need us to define him. He doesn’t need our love. His life was full and complete from eternity past. And yet, he made us for himself. He made us so that he could love us.

So, when we feel the crowds of life pushing in on us, Jesus is the one who is always available to comfort, console, care for us. The words of the old hymn say it so, so well.

Can we find a friend so faithful Who will all our sorrows share?

Jesus knows our every weakness, Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Do thy friends despise, forsake thee? Take it to the Lord in prayer;

In His arms He’ll take and shield thee, Thou wilt find a solace there.[1]

[1] What a Friend We Have in Jesus, Joseph M. Scriven, 1855

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