Seeing the Crowds...

>> Sunday, July 1, 2012

This morning, Greg, our pastor, told the story of Esther. He didn't preach to us. He didn't read from the Bible. He was dressed in character and he became a part of Esther's time. Greg's been known to preach from time to time. :) He's also been known to read whole chapters from the Bible. I love the variety. He also mixes up the flow of the service. I especially like that. We walk in each Sunday not really knowing what might happen.

But today, I could imagine our service being a bit like during Jesus' time.  No one wiggled in their seats.  No one was bored.  We all were enamored because Greg was speaking our language.  He spoke to our hearts.  He made us feel for each character.  

"Seeing the crowds, he (Jesus) went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, His disciples came to Him.  And He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:
(Matthew 5:1-2 ESV)

After reading this, I wondered where all did Jesus talk to the people? 
  • Before He was even born, people were clamoring to see Him in Bethlehem.
  • "And he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people. So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, those oppressed by demons, epileptics, and paralytics, and he healed them. And great crowds followed him from Galilee and the Decapolis, and from Jerusalem and Judea, and from beyond the Jordan."  (Matthew 4:23-25 ESV)
  • Up on the mountain where He gave the Sermon on the Mount.  This was after he was tempted by satan.
  • No rest, the crowds followed Him down off the mountain too when He healed the centurion's servant.  (Matthew 8)
  • Peter's house (Matthew 8)
  • house of tax collectors and sinners (Matthew 9)
  • Beside the sea (Matthew 13)
  • His hometown Nazareth but was rejected (Matthew 13)
  • On the shore, right off the boat when He fed the 5,000 (Matthew 14)
  • Gennesaret - all the people had to do was touch his garment and they were made well! (Matthew 14 ESV)
  • Beside the Sea of Galilee and up the mountain - where He fed the 4,000 (Matthew 15)
  • Galilee and Capernaum (Matthew 17)
  • Judea - let the little children come (Matthew 19)
  • Jericho - blind men (Matthew 20)
  • Mount of Olives - "And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?” And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.”  (Matthew 21:9-11 ESV)

I can imagine sitting on the side of the mountain, listening to Jesus. Or running after Jesus, reaching out for a piece of His robe. Or maybe cooking for Him and washing His dishes. Oh my! I can imagine doing all of this. My favorite thing of all, going out and finding Him in the coolness of the morning. Sneaking up on Him as he talked to His Father. And He would see me out of the corner of His eye and smile and I would know all was well.

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