By Rev. H. Gordon Smith III
All of us want to be a part of the “in-crowd." We like to be like those who saw a band before they became famous. Enamored by His miracles, there were those who were a part of the crowd when they followed Jesus. I imagine a group of “followers” talking amongst themselves: “I saw Jesus performing miracles way back at Capernaum, long before people were wearing Jesus t-shirts!” “Oh yeah, I’ve got one up on you” another person says, “I was there in Peter’s house when he healed Peter’s mother-in-law!” Another person pipes in, “I’ve got you both beat, I was there when Jesus cast out an ‘unclean spirit’ in the synagogue!” All of us want to be in the “in-crowd.” We are attracted to people who are prestigious, powerful, and popular.
Unfortunately, the same crowd that follows Jesus, also rejected Him. The crowd that was praising his name one minute, are the same people who cried out “Crucify Him!” the next. They treated Jesus like a teenage girl who had his poster on the wall one day only to tear it down later. It wasn’t Jesus’ fault they rejected him. The substance of their “faith” was just shallow; a fad that is here today and gone tomorrow. Following Jesus has nothing to do with being a part of the “crowd.” Discipleship does, however, have to do with denying ourselves day-by-day and picking up our own cross.