Psalm 26, Matthew 21:42–46, Acts 13:43–52
Crowds are a powerful thing. They can be a source of powerful change. In the current age, people are helping to launch products they want by putting some of their money into it. By doing so, people go around the big companies that controlled how new things came to market. Yes, there have been massive failures. There have also been fantastic successes. On the other hand, crowds often act like unrestrained monsters, attacking people, destroying property, killing, looting.
What motivates a crowd is the most interesting, as it will vary person to person. For example, there were people who just followed Jesus. There were people who followed Jesus because other people followed Jesus. Then there were those who sought to control Jesus (including making him their king). There there were those who were jealous of his innate popularity in comparison to the false fawning they experienced due to their positions in Jewish society.
Paul and Barnabas also drew crowds. Through their words they drew Jews and Gentiles to Jesus. Yet, there were those who were jealous of the crowds and stirred up trouble forcing them to leave.
This is still going on today. The draw of social media has been that it is where everything is happening. The problem is that it is where everything is happening. People are becoming fatigued with it all, yet are now so conditioned to live with it.
Then there are all the “happening” places. Even churches and their leaders succumb to the crowd-jealousy. Churches and church leaders look to see what the “popular” churches and leaders are doing and often try to copy them. However, just like going along with the crowd, what is good for the crowd may not be good for you. The flip side of that is what is good for you may not be good for the crowd, or at least many in it.
1) How do see yourself when looking at others who appear more successful or happy than you?
2) Why are crowds a bad barometer for choosing the right path? Why are crowds a good barometer for choosing the right path?
3) Whether we acknowledge it or not, we watch the crowds. What is the right way to respond to and view the crowds?