Why I Rouse the Rabble

Crowds will gather everywhere today.
To worship
To spectate
To dine
To consume
To partake of entertainment
It’s Sunday, after all.
There will be crowds at churches, in football stadiums, restaurants and family dinner tables, malls, and movie theaters.
The crowds will gather
And they’ll judge.
Was it the right choice of worship music, did the preacher inspire or sedate, were the musicians appropriately attired and on key?
Did the coach make the right call, was the quarterback up to snuff, did the defense pull their weight?
Was the entre cooked to specifications, was the vegetable spiced properly, was the waitress attendant to our needs?
Are the sales sufficient, the merchandise relevant, and the cashier pleasant?
Did the flick live up to its trailer, did the hero deliver, were the graphics worth tweeting?
It’s Sunday after all and the crowd is the robed in black and seated at the bench – all rise, court is now in session.
Jesus never ignored the crowd.
The crowd was why He came.
I am in the crowd, watching Him, and deciding.
Is He for real?
I don’t need another preacher/teacher/reacher/star
I don’t need a show
I don’t need a sham
I need God – full of power, mercy, love, and grace
Capable of saving me from evil
And from myself.
If He is God, I’ll follow Him even for a stroll on the high seas.
So, Jesus never ignored the crowd and He was aware the crowd was deciding
But the crowd never dictated His agenda
He didn’t need their vote to be God
And didn’t fret when He knew He was a subject of debate.
The debate was important.
As they muttered among themselves.
Crowds mutter
And grumble
And divide.
And some chose to follow
While others scoffed
And some chose quickly
While others needed longer.
And the Bible says He had compassion on the crowd
And I am standing in that crowd
And He hears me muttering
But He has compassion on me
Even when I grumble my skepticism
Or doubt.
And so,
On the main stage of the Passion play
We see Jesus,
The Pharisees,
Mary, and the other Mary,
The twelve
And the rulers of the day.
But we stand with the crowd
And Jesus
Even when He was betrayed,
Even when He was arrested, mocked, beaten, and
Marched through the streets
Even when He was nailed to a tree
He never lost sight of the crowd
And I am in the crowd
And so are you.
He died for the crowd,
The huddled, unwashed masses
Who stand back and quietly decide.
He died knowing some would choose Him
And others would walk away
He’s never surprised by the crowd
And the actions of the crowd don’t dictate His.
He is King
And God
And human
And broken
And risen
And alive.
So, I write for the crowd.
Because they are still with us
Deciding.
And I write from the crowd because that’s where I stand.
And I love the crowd because they are my people.
There are still players on the stage
Politicians and preachers and celebrity believers and skeptics who write books and cons
And my writing isn’t for them
Because they have their own part to play
For the crowd.
And some in the crowd will be swayed by them and ignore Jesus
But some will hear my voice
Or yours
And they will decide to follow
And then their voices will join ours
And we will be a crowd within the crowd
Sheep of His pen
Sheep with pens.
If you spend time reading the gospel
You, too, will notice the crowd.
And if you switch your perspective,
You’ll see the players on the stage
Are not really what the show’s about
Because even Jesus
Joined the crowd
Turning the tables on Satan
Who covets the spotlight
And so,
He gave it to the old boy
All the while He was stealing the hearts of the crowd
Right out from under Lucifer’s arrogant nose.
And it cost Him everything
But that is what He came to give
Because God so loved the crowd
And I am in the crowd
And so are you.
What will you decide?
I rouse the rabble
because I am the rabble.
Who else should rouse them
to recognize God
when He
joins us where we stand?
At this they tried to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his hour had not yet come. Still, many in the crowd believed in him. They said, “When the Messiah comes, will he perform more signs than this man?”  The Pharisees heard the crowd whispering such things about him. Then the chief priests and the Pharisees sent temple guards to arrest him.” John 7:30-32
(thoughts on John 7)


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