Read: Mark 3:7-12
Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the sea, and a great crowd followed, from Galilee and Judea. (v. 7)
When Robert Schuller began preaching at a California drive-in movie theater in 1955, some people thought he was out of his mind. But large crowds of people came in their cars to hear about a God who loved and cared for them. It was the beginning of a great ministry that brought the gospel to many people.
Our verses today describe Jesus doing something very similar. He had tried the synagogue approach and his ministry was not warmly received. So Jesus went outside to the lakeside and later to a hillside.
The out-of-doors opened up some great opportunities for Jesus to share his ministry of good news to large crowds of people. When he spoke in the synagogues and houses, only a limited number of people could hear him, but outside he could reach many more people. And the people came—not just from Galilee, but from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, and as far away as the towns on the Mediterranean Sea of Tyre and Sidon.
There was great potential for going outside. Illustrations of God and the kingdom were innumerable as Jesus observed flowers, birds, trees, seeds, and what we usually call “nature.” Nature has been described as “God’s masterpiece,” and indeed it is. Jesus knew this and used it frequently and so should we as we have opportunity to share the good news. —John Koedyker
Prayer: Help me, Lord, not only to appreciate nature, but to point others to you through it. Amen.