Although today’s gospel is short and known as a transitional text from one section of the gospel to another, it does indicate the sovereignty of Jesus, his gradual self-revelation as the Son of God, over all things seen and unseen, that is the earthy and the otherworldly. The passage can easily be divided into two major parts. In the first part, Jesus heals many in the crowd that is said to be “a large number of people”. In the second part, Jesus manifests his authority over demons who shout that he is the Son of God.
Mark looks back and ahead at the way the reactions of those who “hear” what Jesus is doing intensifies. The repetition of “a large number of people” to the words of Jesus is contrasted with the reaction of the Pharisees and Herodians who have rejected him (Mk 3:6). Furthermore, the geographical locations from which “a large number of people” originates, signify the expansive affirmation of Jesus by the Gentile world.
Finally, it is interesting to note that all is not well. Even though there is a positive response to Jesus, there is an anxiety that the crowd will “crush” Jesus. Perhaps, this points to the change from the eagerness and praise of crowd in these moments of healing to the moments of shouting, “Crucify him” (cf. Mk 15:13-14). However, the early Christian could take comfort in these verses because in each action, it is Jesus who is in control of the situation (he withdrew, he cured, he told, he warned) and affirms that the crowd will not crush him. Of special importance is the warning to the demons not to make him known (Messianic Secret) because Jesus can only be made known and understood from the vantage point of his cross and resurrection.