GREAT MULTITUDES FOLLOW JESUS
GOOD TIME FOLLOWERS
SUNDAY APRIL 7, 2019
Scripture To Consider:
“And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people.”
“Then His fame went throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all sick people who were afflicted with various diseases and torments, and those who were demon-possessed, epileptics, and paralytics; and He healed them. Great multitudes followed Him, from Galilee, and from Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and beyond the Jordan [River].”
Something To Consider:
Matthew has given us in a short synopsis form, a very revealing look back stage into the daily life and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth. This picture broadens the brushstroke beginnings that Luke painted for us in his gospel as he declared the mission statement of Jesus. “The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.”
That very mission statement being fulfilled became the magnet that would draw great multitudes of people from every region in all the surrounding area. Great multitudes followed Jesus, but were they just good time followers, simply following Jesus for the time being in order to better their lives for the moment? And if so, can the same be asked of many who show up regularly to hear messages concerning a God that interests them on a physical level but not a spiritual level?
Are there those who gather like clockwork as if participating in a group insurance program, but have little to no desire to live godly or to endure to the end of their lives for Jesus or to endure to the end of the age for Jesus? But rather, when the cruise ship of life becomes boisterous and the waves begin to crash down upon them they refuse to stretch forward their hand to the living and powerful Word of God, Jesus, who came in the flesh to preach the gospel, to heal the brokenhearted, and oppressed, and spiritually blind.
And though we are not told exactly what it was that Jesus taught the great multitudes that followed Him, we do know what He preached was the truth of the kingdom of God to the people. And according to Matthew 24.13-14 that would include the gospel of enduring to the end in order to be saved. Though many are quick to label that doctrine of Jesus as a doctrine of works, it is the gospel according to Jesus and recorded in three distinct gospel locations!
Something Else To Consider:
Great multitudes reaped the many benefits of Jesus being anointed by God’s Holy Spirit. Great multitudes were also healed of many different diseases, and even demons were subject to His healing and delivering power which appeared to be limitless. Therefore, let us not gloss over or miss the importance of the sequence of events that Matthew so clearly sets forth for the leader in training.
His mode of operation was to go to a new area and locate a synagogue, a place of worship, and begin teaching and preaching the gospel, the good news of the coming kingdom of God. When crowds eventually grew too large for the synagogues, He met outside, still teaching and preaching the truth of His Father’s spiritual kingdom. A good lesson to learn and to follow!
The new leader or leader in training could easily begin with the life of Jesus as depicted in the four gospels and teach and preach messages that could lead to a five, six, or seven years of lessons of a lifetime. That of course is exactly what this According To Jesus website is attempting to accomplish in response to Jesus’ instruction in Matthew 28. “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them [disciples of all nations] to observe all things that I [Jesus] have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Something More To Consider:
Jesus, along with preaching and teaching the Word of God to the great multitudes that followed Him, also healed all kinds of diseases and sicknesses, while bringing relief to the demon possessed. Oh, that the power of Jesus would fall on His people who follow Him by being obedient to His Word. I am anticipating just such a move of God’s miraculous power to be unleashed in this 21st century generation if we indeed are in the end times. What is it that you are anticipating?
The end result in our Scripture to consider was that great multitudes followed Jesus. But the question must be asked. Were they following Jesus because of the good news or because they were good time followers? Were these followers seeking Jesus, or were they seeking healing, better health, a restful existence, or just a change of pace from everyday routines? Time as usual will tell all!
Where were these great multitudes of people later when Jesus was secretly arrested and wrongfully accused of crimes never committed? Where were the great multitudes when Jesus was falsely charged and brutally beaten beyond recognition, and sentenced to death by crucifixion on an old rugged cross? Where were the great multitudes or good time followers then?
Where will the good time followers be when all end time hell breaks loose at the revealing of the Antichrist during the abomination of desolation? What will be the response of the one-time great multitudes and good time followers when man steps up the evil persecution of Christian believers in the next few final years of the human rule upon planet earth?
A Few Final Words:
In the end, will the great multitudes who now fill the many mega churches in every state around this one-time great nation founded under God be found following Jesus or following the wicked dictates of the ever increasing and abounding lawlessness? Be assured that chaos will set in once the Antichrist has been revealed and the people realize He has been establishing his evil kingdom in the midst of the lawlessness unnoticed by most but not by all!
Great multitudes consist of many individuals. Enduring to the end does not mean following the masses of deceived individuals. Enduring to the end means the follower of Christ continues following Jesus and remaining obedient to all things He has taught in His Word, the Word of God. Otherwise we simply become and remain good time followers only of Jesus, of which there may be few and far between those good times in the fast approaching end times!
Therefore, we must arise and stand for Jesus no matter the level or intensity of the persecution that is unleashed upon God’s people for their faithfulness to Him and His Word. Great multitudes are not always a sign of great success, although spiritually mature multitudes are a step in the right direction towards spiritual success. Who and for what are we following? If there is a disconnect from the truth of the Word of God than it may prove correct that we are nothing more than good time followers of false messages.
In closing, Jesus, in speaking of end times in Matthew 24.24 predicted, “For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.” And when that happens, and I firmly believe we are in the midst of Jesus’ end time prediction, great multitudes will follow the Antichrist and his decrees if only to be able to feed their families for a few weeks, a few months, or even a few years. Who will you and I follow in the end? It would do us well to research the end result of who we follow before it is too late!
Our Father in heaven, keep our hearts pure and positioned to always be found looking unto Jesus in good times and bad times and in these end times. In Him Always, Amen