In Mark 3, part of today’s reading from the One Year Bible Plan, several ideas are given as to the character of Jesus. All agree that he is no ordinary man. The disagreement is about what exactly makes him so unusual.
Crowds Follow Jesus (Mark 3:7-12)
Jesus went out to the lake with his disciples, and a large crowd followed him. They came from all over Galilee, Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, from east of the Jordan River, and even from as far north as Tyre and Sidon. The news about his miracles had spread far and wide, and vast numbers of people came to see him.
Jesus instructed his disciples to have a boat ready so the crowd would not crush him. He had healed many people that day, so all the sick people eagerly pushed forward to touch him. And whenever those possessed by evil spirits caught sight of him, the spirits would throw them to the ground in front of him shrieking, “You are the Son of God!” But Jesus sternly commanded the spirits not to reveal who he was.
Jesus and the Prince of Demons (Mark 3:20-22)
One time Jesus entered a house, and the crowds began to gather again. Soon he and his disciples couldn’t even find time to eat. When his family heard what was happening, they tried to take him away. “He’s out of his mind,” they said.
But the teachers of religious law who had arrived from Jerusalem said, “He’s possessed by Satan, the prince of demons. That’s where he gets the power to cast out demons.”
The teachers of religious law believe he’s possessed by Satan. His own family concludes that he’s gone mad. The evil spirits that he casts out shriek, “You are the Son of God!”
C. S. Lewis fans will see in this the Lord, Liar, Lunatic options that the author once suggested. Lewis’s point was that no one can consider Jesus a great man or a wise teacher and actually take him seriously. He’s either something much more or something much less.
The identity that Jesus claims for himself is found in Mark 3:12, where it says, “But Jesus sternly commanded the spirits not to reveal who he was.”