In which Jesus is followed by great crowds. Jesus’ fame has spread! They come from many different places, including Tyre and Sidon. In Matthew’s Gospel, (15 v 21) Jesus meets a Canaanite woman from this region. It’s clear that Jesus initially doesn’t want to have much to do with her, but as the conversation develops, he decides to help her. His mission would cross boundaries of language, ethnicity and background.
It struck me that here in Mark 3, Jesus is already attracting attention from people who come from different areas, and different ethnic backgrounds.
Today is an especially good day to remember this as today is Pentecost Sunday, in which Christians remember the coming of the Spirit to all peoples. We thought about this in church today. (I went to one of the Mennonite churches in Harrisonburg today)
To convey to the children present that God’s Spirit is at work all round the world, we heard a verse of the reading from Acts 2 in Arabic (Egypt), Portuguese (Brazil), German (American with German antecedents), Chinese (China), and Kirundi (Burundi).
Today we celebrate the power of God’s Spirit to bring together people from all backgrounds. Really Good News not only travels fast, as it has done here in Mark’s Gospel, but it travels far. It travels across boundaries that are otherwise impossible to penetrate.
In my time here, I have reminded of the central message of peace in the Gospels. The ‘Jesus Project’ is at its heart one of peace and reconciliation.