And he spake to his disciples, that a small ship should wait on him because of the multitude, lest they should throng him.
…And he goeth up into a mountain, and calleth unto him whom he would: and they came unto him.
…And Judas Iscariot, which also betrayed him: and they went into a house.
And the multitude cometh together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread.
And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself.
And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth he out devils.
~ Mk 3:9, 13, 19-22
We have to be careful when we read Scriptures to not read too much into them. Time is often compressed, summaries are made and details can be glossed over. It often gives us the feeling that things are happening in rapid-fire fashion. In addition, Mark was perhaps the youngest disciple. Certainly, it appears from the Book of Acts that he was rather impetuous, to the point where Paul didn’t want to take him along on his journey. The Gospel of Mark indeed reads like a younger person wrote it. I heard a sermon once where “immediately” seemed to be one of the key words in this book.
Having said that, though, I cannot help but read Mark 3:19-22 and get the feeling that events are chaotic. “They could not so much as eat bread” shows a level of stress that is perhaps only rivaled in modern times.
We also read in Mark how Jesus slept during a storm. How tired must you be to do that? Then, we read how the people “thronged [H]im” (Mk 5:24). Again, a young man’s mind is often on food, and we see in Mark 6:31 that “they had no leisure so much as to eat.” Many deliberately misinterpret Matthew 8:20, where Jesus said, “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.” This is not a statement of finances. Indeed, we see in John 1:38-39 that Jesus shows 2 of John’s disciples where He lived! It was rather an indication of the constant travelling they endured.
For many Americans, these are chaotic times. Yet, the Bible promises that worse than this will come. Do we have the strength to endure to the end? Where do we get that strength? I challenge you, especially during this Passover season, to get out your concordance and look at the verses with “strength” in them from the Book of Isaiah. It is obvious that God grants us the necessary strength. He grants strength to the poor and the needy in their distress (25:4).
God is powerful, and God is mighty. Our own strength will fail us, so we need to heed the warning:
If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.
~ Pr 24:10