Lord Jesus, I know who You are, the Son of the living God, and I bow before You in worship.
Read Mark 3:7-19
 Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the lake, and a large crowd from Galilee followed.  When they heard all he was doing, many people came to him from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, and the regions across the Jordan and around Tyre and Sidon.  Because of the crowd he told his disciples to have a small boat ready for him, to keep the people from crowding him.  For he had healed many, so that those with diseases were pushing forward to touch him.  Whenever the evil spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, “You are the Son of God.”  But he gave them strict orders not to tell who he was.  Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him.  He appointed twelve-designating them apostles-that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach  and to have authority to drive out demons.  These are the twelve he appointed: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter);  James son of Zebedee and his brother John (to them he gave the name Boanerges, which means Sons of Thunder);  Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot  and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectHow did these evil spirits react to Jesus?
The crowds were a problem for Jesus. He didn’t go looking for them; they came looking for him. We like our churches to be full; it makes us feel good. But Jesus routinely withdrew from the crowds (7,13) because they were a distraction (9). He didn’t want to be a celebrity. He was a teacher.
Look at it this way: if you had a limited time to spend learning under Jesus, to resource your ministry and grow your faith, would you choose to do so in a large, diverse crowd, or in a small, stable group?
Jesus had to decide whose needs he was going to serve, and whose demands he would have to leave unmet. It was a tough choice. A lot of people were going to be disappointed. He chose just twelve—the ones “he wanted” to teach (13). Possibly hundreds were left out.
We have to make these choices, too. Like Jesus, our time and energy are limited. When we get over-stretched, we have to decide who to support and who to let down. We have to discern what is important, and what can be left undone.
Which are your most important and fruitful relationships? Pray about it. Where should your effort and energy be focused?
Lord, I pray for the wisdom to know the best and most fruitful ways to invest the time You’ve given me.
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