After the Gospel's opening activity--Jesus' calling of the first disciples (1:16-20) and his engagement with the demonic world (1:21-45) and the religious world (2:1-3:6)--Jesus withdraws to the sea with his disciples (3:7-12). The geographical sweep of Jesus' ministry thus far is noted even if we have not heard stories from all these areas and cities: Galilee, Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, beyond the Jordan, Tyre, and Sidon. This summary of Jesus' initial ministry concludes with an acclamation of his identity and a call to silence: "all who had diseases pressed upon him to touch him. Whenever the unclean spirits saw him, they fell down before him and shouted, 'You are the Son of God!' But he sternly ordered them not to make him known" (3:10b-12).
7 Jesus departed with his disciples to the lake, and a great multitude from Galilee followed him; 8hearing all that he was doing, they came to him in great numbers from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, beyond the Jordan, and the region around Tyre and Sidon. 9He told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, so that they would not crush him; 10for he had cured many, so that all who had diseases pressed upon him to touch him. 11Whenever the unclean spirits saw him, they fell down before him and shouted, You are the Son of God! 12But he sternly ordered them not to make him known.
New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. http://nrsvbibles.org
10 February 2011