Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the sea, and a great crowd followed, from Galilee and Judea and Jerusalem and Idumea and from beyond the Jordan and from around Tyre and Sidon. When the great crowd heard all that he was doing, they came to him. And he told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, lest they crush him, for he had healed many, so that all who had diseases pressed around him to touch him. And whenever the unclean spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, “You are the Son of God.” And he strictly ordered them not to make him known. Mark 3:7-12
Join the Crowd
A little fun with the Greek today. Two different words are both translated as “crowd” in this passage. The first, in verse 7, is πλῆθος (plethos) and means “a great number.” You can hear our English words “plenty” and “plethora” in it. It is also modified by the adjective “great.” So it is a great number of people who are coming from the west (Tyre and Sidon), south (Judea, Jerusalem, and Idumea), and east (beyond the Jordon) of Galilee. This is a really big crowd!
The second word, in verse 9, is ὄχλον (oxlon) which pertains to what type of people they are. This word is often translated “a multitude of common people.”
“The ancient Hebrew writers would call this an am ha’aretz (‘people of the land’). These were largely poor and uneducated Jewish masses who tended to look to the Pharisees for instruction and guidance in matters of daily life.”Archeology Study Bible, p.1437 (Crossway Publishing, 2017)
Couple this passage with the increasing angst and antagonism of the Pharisees, this would would make sense. Jesus was the competition!
No body compares to you. Nobody can compete with you!
Help us to be faces in the ὄχλον of your followers, learning from you and seeking your guidance in our lives.
I pray this in the name of the Miracle Maker. Amen!