“Large crowds followed Him from Galilee and the Decapolis, and from Jerusalem and Judea and from beyond the Jordan.” Matthew 4:25 ESV
One of our family vacations included a trip to Hollywood where we were excited to find out they were actually filming a movie nearby. The streets were closed off and everyone was standing across the street from all the action. We eagerly joined in wondering if we would see Julia Roberts filming another Pretty Woman or Johnny Depp in all his glory. Well, at least I was hoping to see Johnny Depp in all his glory!
We finally saw the signs announcing The Muppets were filming a new movie. Miss Piggy and her entourage rode up to the theater in a limo and we all pushed to be able to see the stars. I’ll admit it was a bit of a let down but still fun to see all the Muppets being lifted up to say their lines then drop down like limp puppets till their next scene. I’m sure actual living, breathing stars would have required more crowd control and more high maintenance than our precious Kermie.
The gospels are full of Jesus’ star status. Large crowds followed him wherever he went. He provided food for over 5,000 followers when they were hungry. The mountainsides were so full that he escaped to a boat to preach and teach. News of his travels and miracles made everyone want to come out and see this man from Galilee. Zacchaeus even climbed a tree to be able to get a better view.
Palm Sunday brought the peak to Jesus’ popularity. By the end of the week, it wasn’t the acceptable thing to be seen in his presence. Even his closest friends betrayed and denied knowing him. Though some still followed.
Today the crowd can go either way. It’s acceptable to follow Jesus when we are in church but is it when we are with our co-workers at work? Some have been asked to leave out Jesus’ name when we pray as that might offend someone. Where you are and who you are with can determine the popularity of Jesus at any given time.
But some still follow. Do you?