He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James. When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. He went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.” But they laughed at him. Mark 5:37-40

Everywhere Jesus has gone in the book of Mark up to this point, crowds have pursued him. They have listened to his teaching with amazement, flocked to him for healing, and pursued him from one town to another. The Pharisees have held Jesus at arm’s length, listening with skepticism, while Jesus draws others close. In Mark chapter 5, however, we see mixed response to Jesus. The people of the Gerasenes region plead with Jesus to leave after seeing him drive out demons (v. 17). The mourners laugh at his suggestion Jairus’ daughter might live (v. 40).

In spite of all this, and a very public-facing ministry, Jesus doesn’t force or demand a specific response from those around him. He is simply himself and lets everyone decide what they will do with him.

In this passage alone, we’ve seen a multitude of responses to Jesus: Calling him the Son of the Most High God, asking to follow him, begging for healing, and outright skepticism. Ask yourself, which of the responses to Jesus in Mark 5 do you most resonate with? What might be behind this response? Ask the Spirit to reveal to you the next step in following Jesus.

By Jessica Rust