April 19, 2011
The Whole World Has Gone After Christ
“So the Pharisees said to one another, ‘You see that you are not doing any good; look, the world has gone out after Him.”
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As we think about the resurrection of Jesus Christ this week, we should also remember the crowds who came to see Jesus. We will see several crowds, from different places, with different motives. They will all see their Lord of Lords, and King of Kings, whether they knew it or not. Remember, that “every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:10-11).
The Large Crowd Who Had Come to the Feast. In John 12:12, we read about “the large crowd that come to the feast . . . .” Part of this crowd included Greeks, who came up to worship at the feast (John 12:20). One part of this crowd apparently followed Jesus from Jericho (Matthew 20:29-34).
The Crowd from Bethany. In John 12:17, we read about the crowd from Bethany, who had witnessed Jesus raise Lazarus from the tomb, testified about Jesus. The testimony of the crowd from Bethany had a dramatic effect upon the people in Jerusalem. They went out to see Jesus.
The Crowd from Jerusalem. In John 12:18, the crowd from Jerusalem went out to meet Jesus, because they had heard that he had performed this sign of raising Lazarus from the dead. The Pharisees observed that their efforts to stop Jesus had come to nothing so far, because “the world has gone after Him” (John 12:19).
The Crowd Following Jesus. Part of the crowd followed Jesus as He sat upon the young donkey (Matthew 21:9).
The Crowd Going Before Jesus. Part of the crowd went before Jesus, spreading their coats on the road before Jesus as He rode upon the donkey. Others in this crowd were cutting branches from trees, and spreading them upon the way before Jesus (Matthew 21:8).
The Voice of the Crowd. The crowd cried out: “Hosanna to the Son of David; Blessed is He Who comes in the Name of the LORD; Hosanna in the highest!” The whole group of disciples began to praise God joyfully for the miracles they had seen, saying Blessed is the King who comes in the Name of the LORD; peace in heaven and glory in the highest! (Luke 19:37-38). Upon entering Jerusalem, the multitudes were saying: “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth in Galilee.” Even the children in the temple were crying out: “Hosanna to the Son of David” (Matthew 21:15).
The Tears of Jesus. When Jesus approached Jerusalem, He saw the city and wept. He lamented that the things that make peace had been hidden from the eyes of Jerusalem (Luke 20:42). In fact, Jerusalem would be destroyed, so that one stone of the temple would not remain upon another (Luke 20:43-44).
So we learn more about the crowds receiving Jesus the King.
● Crowds gathered around Jesus for many reasons, and they followed Him to Jerusalem for different reasons. People will always be gathered around the name of Jesus Christ, but for very different reasons. Some have saving faith, and some have faith only in His miracles.
● Crowds followed behind Jesus, and some crowds prepared the way for Jesus. Jesus always dealt with individuals when it came to salvation, because salvation happens one person at a time. Salvation comes as a gift from God, a miracle of love wrapped in faith. When you follow Jesus because He has saved you from your sins, then you belong to the greatest family on earth and in heaven, the congregation of the redeemed by His blood.
● You may be standing in the crowd today. Jesus wept because most of the people in the crowds would never accept His gift of salvation by faith alone. Many people looked at Jesus, surrounded by other people shouting out His praises, and welcoming Him into Jerusalem. They acclaimed their earthly king, but never accepted the eternal God and Savior entering Jerusalem to give His life for their sins. Today you need to step forward, bow before Jesus, and accept His gift of salvation, by asking Him to forgive you, because He came to die for you on that cross, so that He would bear the death penalty of your sins, and you would go free.
Application for Today
Today I will see the crowds gathering to welcome Jesus. All across the world people are gearing up for a holiday weekend. It will be the big “church event,” with choirs singing and preachers preaching. Step out of the crowd, and get in serious spiritual touch with Jesus. Praise His name and lift Him up. Will you step near to Jesus today?