Meanwhile, when a crowd of many thousands had gathered, so that they were trampling on one another…. Luke 12:1(a)
Jesus often attracted massive crowds. Passionate onlookers scrambled with reckless abandonment of their personal schedules and comfort to find a position to hear him teach. They even risked the possibility of being injured. The chaotic scenes were fueled by rumors of Jesus’ numerous miracles and healings.
Christ fed thousands of men, women and children with limited amounts of food. He confronted and defeated demons repeatedly by driving them out of people and places. He even brought his friend, Lazarus, back to life after being pronounced dead three days earlier! A Sabbath healing enraged the Pharisees and Sadducees when he restored a crippled woman to a faultless vertical posture. Jesus spoke vehemently to his opponents and even called them hypocrites to their faces! The authorities were humiliated, but the onlookers were delighted to be an eyewitness to the fulfillment of God’s plan through his Son, Jesus. (Luke 13:10-17)
Peril is real in our lives today. The possibility of discomfort while volunteering in homeless shelters, rescue homes for trafficked teenagers, or while teaching God’s principles in prisons crush our decisions to commit. We apathetically ignore invitations many churches offer year after year to participate in various missions opportunities—at home or abroad. I often say, I’m not called to do this; what if I contract a lifelong disease on the trip? What if I am targeted for dangerous activities?
Writer John Eldredge simply states: “When it comes to experiencing more of Jesus in your life, much depends on what you are open to experiencing—what you have been told you can experience, and what you are comfortable with. Are you willing to let Jesus be himself with you?”
Imagine the life-changing decisions made by those who actually saw Christ’s healing love touches? Sweet Jesus even said, “Because you have seen Me, you have believed. Those who believe without seeing are blessed.” (John 20:29 HCSB)
*John Eldredge, Restoration Year (Nashville, Tennessee, Thomas Nelson, 2018), 183.