And the Pharisees went forth, and straightway took counsel with the Herodians against him, how they might destroy him. But Jesus withdrew himself with his disciples to the sea: and a great multitude from Galilee followed him, and from Judaea, And from Jerusalem, and from Idumaea, and from beyond Jordan; and they about Tyre and Sidon, a great multitude, when they had heard what great things he did, came unto him.
The multitudes and the Pharisees had all seen and heard about the same things. They were all aware of these things that Jesus was doing among them. But their response and reaction to them is very different. The Pharisees are always withdrawing away from Jesus, while the multitudes are drawn to Him. The Pharisees are conspiring to destroy Him, but the people are clamoring for His touch upon their lives. The Pharisees want to stop Jesus from doing the things He is doing, but the people want Him to work in their personal circumstances. The people are eager to hear Him, but the Pharisees have stopped their ears and refused to hear.
We see this same contrast playing out all through history and in our world today. It’s nothing new that some oppose Christ and some are drawn to follow Him. It’s not the first time some have wanted to silence His truth while others are so thirsty for it. It’s not the first time some have refused Him so thoroughly that they want every trace of Him and His work destroyed while others cling to Him and want to see Him work in their lives and the lives of those around them.
But it is a testament to the power of Christ that He is still touching lives today in the same ways He touched lives thousands of years ago. We can only read about the things He said and did, but somehow that is enough to draw our hearts toward Him and cause us to seek Him ever more. His greatness has not faded or diminished with the passing of time. His desire to impact lives has not changed, nor has His mission to draw men unto Himself.
So, whose side are we on? Have we made up our minds that Jesus is some fraud and refused to hear Him out or allowed His great works to change our hearts and our minds? Or are we part of that clamoring multitude that seeks Him wherever He goes, that desires to be close to Him and experience what a life lived with Jesus can entail? If we’ve simply heard those same stories of the great things He has done, will that cause us to turn from Him so we can continue on the same as we are, or have they implanted some desire within us to seek out this Jesus for ourselves?