Lord, You’ve searched me and You know me. Thank You that You love me in full understanding of who I am.
Read LUKE 19:45-20:8
 Then he entered the temple area and began driving out those who were selling.  “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be a house of prayer’; but you have made it ‘a den of robbers.'”  Every day he was teaching at the temple. But the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the leaders among the people were trying to kill him.  Yet they could not find any way to do it, because all the people hung on his words.  One day as he was teaching the people in the temple courts and preaching the gospel, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, together with the elders, came up to him.  “Tell us by what authority you are doing these things,” they said. “Who gave you this authority?”  He replied, “I will also ask you a question. Tell me,  John’s baptism-was it from heaven, or from men?”  They discussed it among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will ask, ‘Why didn’t you believe him?’  But if we say, ‘From men,’ all the people will stone us, because they are persuaded that John was a prophet.”  So they answered, “We don’t know where it was from.”  Jesus said, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.” Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectHow did the reaction of the Pharisees and the people differ?
Jerusalem was heaving with people gathered for the Passover festival. A crowd can take on a life of its own: it becomes a corporate body with a mood that can turn ugly with a fearsome ability to wreak havoc. Jesus has the crowd behind him while he preaches in the Temple, and is effectively untouchable. The authorities are unable to trap him and are acutely aware that things could go badly for them if they make a wrong move (6). A short while later, however, the situation has changed dramatically, and the people are crying “Crucify him! Crucify him!” (23:21), demanding that Jesus be executed.
There have been many times and places in history when following Christ has been in line with the mood of the crowd, “the done thing,” so to speak. More often, though, it means being dangerously at odds with the majority. Whether the masses move this way or that, we need to be making our way after Jesus with deliberation and courage, focusing only on his voice which calls us to follow him to death and beyond, whatever the cries or movement of the crowds may be.
How are you working each day to stay with Jesus, and not just “with the flow”?
Lord Jesus, it’s not always easy to see and resist the pressures of “the crowd,” but I pray for Your help to stay close to You.
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