Have you ever been desperate?
Desperation can make you feel so ……..well, DESPERATE!
It’s a state of being hopeless and frantic at the same time. A terrible feeling of “neediness” that no one wants, desperation makes us ready to do whatever it takes to gain what appears impossible to achieve on our own.
We can become desperate for –
or a rescue.
Any number of things can qualify as being at the root of our desperation, but what they have in common is where they can lead us- searching for help.
This is where we find CROWDS with “neediness” pressing in to gain access to Jesus in Mark 3:7-12.
Why were the crowds desperate?
Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the lake, and a large crowd from Galilee followed. When they heard about 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 impure 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 others about him.
It is obvious that MANY of these people were desperate, maybe even at their breaking point.
They needed Jesus in a huge way!
They had heard the stories of impossibilities coming true- miracles taking place. And they wanted one for themselves!
Some needed healing.
Some needed delivering.
Ultimately, ALL of them needed SOMETHING, whether they realized it or not, that only Jesus could provide.
They came looking for a MIRACLE and many of them received it.
But then what?
Does life go back to normal after you receive what you are desperate for? Are we ever ANY different after having been driven to desperation?
What eventually happened to these crowds?
It would be tempting to think that they all began to follow Jesus and devote themselves to His Gospel. But that’s not the case.
John 6:66 reveals an answer later as Jesus began to dish out hard teaching ALONG with His miracles.
From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.
So it becomes clear that many people came to Jesus but fewer actually chose to remain and follow.
The reality was, most of the crowds wanted more of His POWER with less of His PERSON.
Why didn’t they continue to follow Jesus?
Desperation may drive us to Christ but only devotion will cause us to remain.Desperation may drive us to Christ but only devotion will cause us to remain. Click To Tweet
While many came for what He could do for them, fewer stayed for who He was to them. They wanted a solution, not a Savior.They wanted a solution, not a Savior. Click To Tweet
The fact that they did not continue to follow Christ reveals what they were truly after- a change in their circumstance, not necessarily a change in themselves.
How often is this the way WE respond to Christ?
We come running to Him when we are desperate for relief from our most intolerable problem. Yet, as soon as we find the sudden, swift relief we are after, we go on our merry way until the next big crisis sends us running back in desperation.
Why don’t we?
We all know our breaking point, and some of us are there now. It’s hard to prioritize anything above the relief from our suffering, but if we don’t change in the process, are we any more prepared for the next round of desperation?If we don't change in the process, are we any more prepared for the next round of desperation? Click To Tweet
Those most impacted for the good from their encounter with Christ seem to relate their value of the miracle to the greatness of the One who performed it, as seen in the demon-possessed man in Mark 5:1-20. He was freed from his tormented state and his immediate response is found in verses 18-20.
As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.
This man was desperate for a miracle just like the previous crowds. But what was different was that he recognized the greater opportunity that his desperation afforded him–
The miracle could relieve his suffering but only Jesus could satisfy his soul!A miracle could relieve his suffering but only Jesus could satisfy his soul! Click To Tweet
And that, my friend, is far better than a temporary solution.
I have set the LORD always before me. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Psalm 16:8
Just as David realized after having ascended to the throne of Israel, miraculous relief from our desperation is most beneficial when it opens our eyes and heart to the Person of God Himself. When we can value who He is more than what He can do for us, we will have received our greatest advantage through our times of desperation.
David came through battles with a lion, a bear, a giant, a raging king, betraying friends, and enemy nations ALL seeking his death. But what made the best difference in his life was what he gained from God through intimacy.
Desperation drove David to need God, but devotion sent him after the heart of God!Desperation drove David to need God, but devotion sent him after the heart of God! Click To Tweet
When you have devotion for the Lord, times of desperation will not ever have the power over you as they had before.