Saturday, July 1, 2017
BEWARE OF THE CROWD!
Dearly Beloved, BEWARE OF THE CROWD! “Even with these words, they had difficulty keeping the crowd from sacrificing to them. Then some Jews came from Antioch and Iconium and won the crowd over. They stoned Paul and dragged him outside the city, thinking he was dead” (Acts 14:18-19 NIV). In their first missionary journey at Lystra, Paul and Barnabas performed a miracle that made the people of the town to mistake them for gods of the land. This crowd of people wanted to offer sacrifice to Paul and Barnabas. Paul and Barnabas had difficulty stopping the crowd from offering the sacrifice to them. However, it is interesting to note that the same crowd was used by some of the Jews to stone Paul! The crowd of people in any form or any place (even in the church) can be so funny. They are not predictable, and a wise man will not depend on them. Look at this account of Jesus Christ: “Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many people saw the miraculous signs he was doing and believed in his name. But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all men. He did not need man's testimony about man, for he knew what was in a man” (John 2:23-25 NIV). The crowd of Jesus’ time indeed demonstrated this to Him. They were following Him, listening to Him, and were even ready to make Him king by force (see John 6:15), but He did not rely on them. This crowd of people praised Him by saying, "Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the King of Israel!" (John 12:13 NIV), and within a week, they condemned Him, "Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!" (John 19:15 NIV). While Paul was lucky to survive the unstable, “double-mouthed” crowd, Jesus was not “lucky.” Paul was stoned, but it did not resort to his death, though the crowd thought he was dead. Jesus was crucified and died on the cross, but He was raised from the dead on the third day. Many people have fallen victims of this double dealing of the crowd. They allowed the crowd to lead them to their downfall by the praises and sycophancy of the crowd. Are you at the brim of such fall? Who are the crowd in your life that is praising you today? The crowd may be your subordinates, associates, relatives, or even, at times, spouses. They may turn against you tomorrow. Do not allow them to ruin you. Beware of the crowd! In His service, Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor). Prayer Point: Pray for the discerning spirit to be able to differentiate from sycophancy and praises of people around you.