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Summary: In order to be truly successful, you must not only know where you want to go, but how you want to get there. In other words, you must not only have a goal, but a plan to reach that goal. You might call that plan a strategy. Strategy comes before success, both in the dictionary and in life.

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Divine Strategy

Mark 3:7-19

7 Jesus withdrew to the sea with His disciples; and a great multitude from Galilee followed; and also from Judea,

8 and from Jerusalem, and from Idumea, and beyond the Jordan, and the vicinity of Tyre and Sidon, a great number of people heard of all that He was doing and came to Him.

9 And He told His disciples that a boat should stand ready for Him because of the crowd, so that they would not crowd Him;

10 for He had healed many, with the result that all those who had afflictions pressed around Him in order to touch Him.

11 Whenever the unclean spirits saw Him, they would fall down before Him and shout, “You are the Son of God!”

12 And He earnestly warned them not to tell who He was.

The Twelve Are Chosen

13 And He went up on the mountain and summoned those whom He Himself wanted, and they came to Him.

14 And He appointed twelve, so that they would be with Him and that He could send them out to preach,

15 and to have authority to cast out the demons.

16 And He appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom He gave the name Peter),

17 and James, the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James (to them He gave the name Boanerges, which means, “Sons of Thunder”);

18 and Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Zealot;

19 and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Him.

In order to be truly successful, you must not only know where you want to go, but how you want to get there. In other words, you must not only have a goal, but a plan to reach that goal. You might call that plan a strategy. Strategy comes before success, both in the dictionary and in life.

Jesus had a strategy, a divine strategy, for reaching the world. His life and ministry on this earth was part of that strategy, but only the introductory phase. He had more in mind than simply His life and ministry for those short years almost two millennia ago. What would happen when He left? How could the work of the Kingdom be carried on in the ages to come?

The divine strategy of Jesus is still unfolding today. As a matter of fact, you and I are part of that strategy. Therefore, it is important for us to understand just what that strategy is and how we fit into the picture. Our text today give us a sense of Jesus; strategy.

7 Jesus withdrew to the sea with His disciples; and a great multitude from Galilee followed; and also from Judea,

8 and from Jerusalem, and from Idumea, and beyond the Jordan, and the vicinity of Tyre and Sidon, a great number of people heard of all that He was doing and came to Him. (vv. 7-8)

The word was out: Jesus was healing people of their sicknesses. He was casting out demons. Mighty miracles were being performed for the first time in many, many years of Israel’s history. And people were finding genuine relief from their problems.

So the multitudes came. Our text tells us that they were great multitudes. They had heard that Jesus was doing great things. Such news could not be kept quiet. The sick were healed. Demons cried out and got out. The news spread like wildfire.

You see, the need was great in the lives of these people. That is why they came. The need is still great today. And that is why many will still respond if only the word only gets out.

People with real, deep, unmet needs can be desperate people. Desperate people do desperate things to have their needs met. As the crowd swelled in size and sought to press in to get to Jesus, Jesus had to take measures to keep from being literally crushed.

9 And He told His disciples that a boat should stand ready for Him because of the crowd, so that they would not crowd Him;

10 for He had healed many, with the result that all those who had afflictions pressed around Him in order to touch Him.

11 Whenever the unclean spirits saw Him, they would fall down before Him and shout, “You are the Son of God!”

12 And He earnestly warned them not to tell who He was. (vv. 9-12)

Jesus called for a boat that He might push out from the shore aways, stand in the boat, and preach to them. The crowd was growing because here was a man whose reputation preceded Him. This was no mere rumor. This was reality. This man had the power and authority of the claims which preceded Him. When He encountered the forces of evil and those possessed by demons, the very demons would cry out in confession that the one they hated was the Son of God. Whenever He touched the sick, they were healed. The Kingdom of God was among them.

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