The in Crowd?
So here we are at the beginning of October! Suddenly Christmas is on the horizon along with Remembrance Day, firework night and many other events requiring our time.
Interestingly, most of these events will cause us to finish up in a crowd or a queue. It seems more and more that there is less room; even the roads seem to be more and more crowded.
Personally I am not a fan of crowds, I like space and appreciate the quietness that the countryside brings. Having lived and worked in London for a number of years, crowds seem to be the norm especially on public transport. So living and working in the relative 'spacious' Derbyshire is really great.
The bible refers to a crowd in Luke 8:42-45 - all these people who were gathered around Jesus and it got me thinking about why they were there.
People in that crowd were all doing one thing in common; they were all following Jesus, but why?
Well, there would have been His disciples there to learn and understand Jesus. There would have been friends and acquaintances of Jesus there because they knew Him or knew of Him.
There would have been those who wanted to see what Jesus was doing just for the spectacle and out of curiosity.
The religious leaders would have been there, wanting to observe this Jesus who threatened their traditions and religion and they wanted to get rid of Him.
There would have been people who were there just because there was a crowd - nothing better to do, nowhere else to go...
One common thing - they were all "following" Jesus.
A high proportion of these people were not there for Jesus, they were there because of their own motivations.
Today, 2000 years later, not much has changed really. Frankly, there are many who will 'follow' Jesus but only if they can write the contract. That will include religion, tradition, no sacrifice, no priority and an opt out clause in case things go wrong, get tough or circumstances change.
As we consider where we are in the 'crowd that follows' Jesus, perhaps we should consider the woman who pushed through the crowd touching Jesus clothes believing she would be healed.
In Luke 8:48 Jesus told the woman that her faith had made her well and to go in peace.
You see, when we push past the observers, the bystanders, when we understand that religion and tradition are not what this is about, when we come to the feet of Jesus in faith and He touches our lives, we realise that the crowd is of no significance at all and actually, we are no longer part of the crowd, we are members of the Kingdom.
With much love,