People were attracted to Jesus like iron filings to a magnet. He was exactly what they needed. The doctors of their day could not do much. Serious and chronic conditions were incurable. Jesus blew like a fresh breeze into their lives. Who would not run after someone who could alleviate suffering, fix broken bodies and speak words of hope
Even people outside Israel came to listen to Him. It was a glorious time for broken and helpless people and He had no lack of followers. But it was never Jesus’ intention just to be a solution for human problems. He came for a greater purpose than that. He called people to be followers and imitators because there was a broken world beyond their borders that needed Him and the message He came to bring.
He was popular as long as He spoke about the kingdom of God and the love of a Father, but when He began to teach them about the kind of life He expected them to live as kingdom citizens, to obey Him , to be generous, to serve rather than be served, to be the least, not the greatest, His popularity waned.
Where were the adoring crowds when He was on trial for His life? Caiaphas, the High Priest, challenged Him about His credentials. “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” he asked. Jesus acknowledged the claim, “It is as you say.” Caiaphas was elated. “Blasphemy,” he roared. “Guilty as charged.” Was it not his duty to call witnesses to ensure that his verdict was accurate? How was he going to prove Jesus’ guilt or innocence without testing His claim? Where were the people whose lives were changed through His healing power? Where were the enthusiastic crowds who hung on His words and marvelled at His authority?
“Pilate called together the chief priests, the rulers and the people and said to them…’I have examined Him in your presence and have found no basis for your charges against Him…’ With one voice they cried out, ‘Away with this man! Release Barabbas to us!’” Luke 23:13,14b,18. (Pilate did a better job of trying Jesus than the Sanhedrin. At least he questioned Jesus and concluded that He was not guilty).
It seems that the same people who received His mercy were among those who shouted for His death. What happened to their faith? Where was their loyalty? How tragic that many who call themselves “believers” today also melt away when the pressure is on. Faith in Jesus is not about what He can do for us but what He has done for us. Opportunistic faith is only in it for what they can get out of it.
Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
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