In Mark 3:7-11, we see the response of a crowd of people coming from quite a distance. Jesus is drawing people from Jerusalem, Judea, Galilee and the Gentile areas of Tyre & Sidon. He’s modeling what the disciples will eventually do: healing and witnessing to people from all over. Curiosity seekers wanted to see for themselves. Picture it: Jesus down on the shore of the Sea of Galilee and people swarming together and rushing down to get to him. Many of them were sick and diseased themselves. Others were possessed by demons. Others were just curious family members. We don’t know how many came, but Jesus was definitely concerned not just about his own safety, but also about the dangers inherent in a mob of people. He was alarmed that somebody might get trampled and hurt. Listen, if I was alive at the time and I had health problems and medical issues, I’d certainly want to go see a man with the reputation Jesus had for healing all kinds of diseases. Some came with a real physical need. Some were just curious. I call these the Curious Crowd. They definitely wanted to satisfy their curiosity. But they’re not committed. There will always be those who are curious about Jesus. Maybe it seems to you like there’s less and less of the curious in our neighborhoods today. You know what? Something has to be happening to attract people’s attention. Something unusual has to be going on for people to make the effort to go and see. If nothing’s happening in your life (I mean spiritually)… or nothing’s happening here in our worship gatherings… then there’s nothing for people to be curious about. When the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit in Acts 2 at Pentecost, people from many nations miraculously heard them speak in their native languages. That got people’s attention! When the power of the Holy Spirit is evident, people will be curious. They will be attracted. They will want to see.
Are you a curious onlooker who enjoys being near Jesus, near other followers and receiving the benefits of being near a group of loving, caring people… but never committing yourself? Are you curious but not committed? If so, now’s the time to make that commitment. If you’re just curious but don’t want to commit all the way, then pull out now because it’s not gonna get any easier for Jesus-followers in the coming years! We’re in the age of the most widespread persecution of Christians in all of history. It’s happening right here, too. And it’s gonna get worse, not better.