What Mattered Most to Jesus: Miracles or Message? (Mark 2:1-2)

Jesus Preaching to the Crowd

After traveling to the villages nearby (cf. Mark 1:38-39), Jesus returns to Capernaum and is welcomed by many people gathering at this home.  So many people in fact that there was not enough room for them and they spilled out past the doorway.

What do you think the crowds wanted?  What drove them to crowd and clamor around Jesus so much?  Jesus has begun his public ministry and is used to drawing a crowd.  Mostly what drew people were the healings and exorcisms he had performed.

So it’s funny that Jesus “preaches the word” to them.  This is a classic moment of Jesus having the crowd in the palm of his hand.  If he wanted more popularity, more attention, and more people flocking to him, why not simply do more healings, more exorcisms, more spectacular good works and miracles?  Why preach to them?

Jesus has been going around preaching the good news – the gospel – of the kingdom of God, so preaching was important.  And great miracles and good works accompanied it.  These miracles and good works were important, but they weren’t central.  What was central was that Jesus is a new kind of king, setting up his new kingdom and now everyone is being challenged to respond to this king.

The healings, the miracles, the exorcisms and the all-around good works were all bearing out the implications of this kingdom, but they were not in and of themselves the central or primary thing.  Jesus was.