I HEARD A MESSAGE ABOUT CROWDS
There are 16,435 sermons on the subject of CROWDS at sermoncentral.com/ . One message struck a chord with me. The speaker described crowds, to include gangs. He spoke of why and how crowds form, the intentions of crowds, the makeup of crowds, the psychology of crowds, the effect of crowds and the different types of crowds.
Toward the end of the message, the speaker remarked, “And Christianity is one of the largest CROWDS in the world. In fact, it is almost like a “GANG”.
You see, “GANG members” have their own titles, their own logos and symbols they wear. They have their own music style, their way of dressing and acting. And, sometimes, GANG members can be intimidating, just like Christians.
“But, Christians have even more. They have their own buildings, artwork, radio and televisions and broadcast stations and satellite networks. They have their own banking systems, clothing lines, banks and religious centers.”
The Bible mentions the word CROWD or CROWDS, in relation of Jesus, 137 times in the New Testament..
After I read these passages, I wondered. “HAVE I BECOME A GANG MEMBER? Or part of the CROWD?”
After you read this letter, I’ll ask you, also, “Have you become a gang member? Or part of a crowd?
Watch carefully as the Crowds in the Bible, who followed Jesus around, go from
- Inquisitive to
- Amazement and
- Adoration, and then become
- Angry – every time. Every time.
THE THING ABOUT CROWDS
I am giving just a few examples here, how crowds acted and reacted to Jesus following the pattern of Inquisitive to Amazement & Adoration, to and then Angry. (You can read all the verses about the CROWDS which followed Jesus at this link https://www.whitestone2014.com/crowds ):
Matthew 4:23 ¶ Jesus was going throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people. (v24) The news about Him spread throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all who were ill, those suffering with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, paralytics; and He healed them. (v25) Large CROWDS followed Him from Galilee and the Decapolis and Jerusalem and Judea and from beyond the Jordan.
Mt 7:28 When Jesus had finished these words, the CROWDS were amazed at His teaching;
Mt 8:1 When Jesus came down from the mountain, large CROWDS followed Him.
Mt 9:8 But when the CROWDS saw this, they were awestruck, and glorified God, who had given such authority to men.
Mt 14:19 Ordering the people to sit down on the grass, He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up toward heaven, He blessed the food, and breaking the loaves He gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the CROWDS,
20 and they all ate and were satisfied. They picked up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve full baskets.
21 There were about five thousand men who ate, besides women and children.
Mt 21:9 The CROWDS going ahead of Him, and those who followed, were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David; BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD; Hosanna in the highest!”
John 6:24 So when the CROWD saw that Jesus was not there, nor His disciples, they themselves got into the small boats, and came to Capernaum seeking Jesus.
v51 “I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.”
v53 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves.
v54 “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.
v55 “For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink.
v66 As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore.
Matthew 26:55 At that time Jesus said to the CROWDS, “Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest Me as you would against a robber? Every day I used to sit in the temple teaching and you did not seize Me.
Matthew 27:20 But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas and to put Jesus to death.
What has been your pattern while following Jesus, so far?
- Were you initially, INQUISTIVE?
- Have you come to be AMAZED by Him?
- Do you ADORE Him?
BEWARD: The next step in this pattern is ANGER. It doesn’t flare up all-at-once. It is gradual and progressive. As long as you think you are getting what you expected, you are full of wonder and amazement, showing adoration for God.
But then, perhaps the music at church, has become less than what you expect, and you become annoyed. Maybe the sermons aren’t ‘feeding you’ just right so you have become dissatisfied. Maybe the sermons are too ‘hard’ or about Bible subjects you don’t like, such as sin or hell and they bother you so you miss a Sunday here and there. And maybe, on one of those missed Sundays, nobody from the church called to see about you and you feel neglected or ignored so you get angry. Yep. ANGER sets in and the patter is complete.
Now, you should ask yourself, are you following Jesus as His disciple? Or, are you just following Him around – as part of the CROWD?
This is what can happen when you become part of the CHURCH CROWD.
Jesus did not call us to be THE CROWD. He called us to BE THE CHURCH and to BE HIS DISCIPLES who go and make other disciples.
We are NOT to be part of the church gang, following after the conferences, the church programs and becoming just an weekly attendee of the religious services (aka, worship services).
Hebrews 6:4 It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age 6 and who have fallen c away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace. 7 Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. 8 But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned.
The Day of the Lord is near. Let’s get ready and stay ready for His return.
Your Brother and Friend,