Among every congregation, you find the crowd. Along the path to freedom, there is a group called, “the crowd.” In this context, the crowd does not have to be large numbers of people. The crowd does not always have to denote or connote a massive number of people in a place. The crowd could be a small number of people at the moment in time with the effect of myriads of people. It could be just one person whose attitude, speech and actions make you feel like the whole world is against you.
17One day Jesus was teaching, and Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there. They had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with Jesus to heal the sick. 18Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. 19When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus. 20When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.” 21The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, “Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 22Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? 23Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 24But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” 25Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God – Luke 5:17-25 (NIV)
In the reference, we see that these men carrying their feeble friend could not get to Jesus because of the crowd. They had the desire and the intent to see Him; they made the efforts to do so but they couldn’t, not because they lacked the ability, but because there was a crowd standing in the way.
Are there things you have been trying to do, but you couldn’t because some person or people blocked your way? You made several attempts, but the mere presence or involvement of these people stopped or delayed you from getting the results you wanted! It was also the “crowd” that sought to halt blind Bartimaeus from getting his miracle, (Mark 10:46-52).
I would like you to take courage from these men. They did not give up, give in or give way in their bid to see Jesus. You ought to do same. Do not let the crowd stop you from seeing Jesus; do not allow the crowd prevent you from getting your goals; do not allow the crowd to be the reason why you don’t get into your promised land.
In Mark 10:48 and 49 something very interesting happened. Verse 48 says that the crowd rebuked Bartimaeus and told him to be quiet. However, he refused to be silenced, and he cried out all the more. Strangely, in the following verse, after Jesus stopped and called him, it was the same crowd that cheered him up to come to Jesus.
You see, the crowd has no clear stand. They are always standing in the doorway. The same people who are trying to discourage and deter you from your goals today are the ones that will be cheering you on tomorrow if you refuse to give up. Like these courageous men, never let the crowd stop you from getting blessed.
Identifying the crowd
The crowd typifies those whose attitudes, actions, comments, and mannerisms have the potential to stop you or veer you off your track to your destiny. They are those who are always ‘busy’ following Jesus, but by their ways, words and behaviour, they hinder others from seeing and following Him. Let’s look at some other characteristics of the crowd:
They are the type that chatter and make noise in Church.
Have you met any guys like this? Some don’t mind taking a call right in the middle of the service while the message is going on and even speaking with a loud pitch. Some look for errors in the minister’s message, thereby taking your mind off the substance. They cause distractions during very sensitive moments with their shouts and gesticulations.
They claim to be following Jesus, but their lives do not line up with His teachings; thus they turn people off from getting to know Jesus.
If the crowd in both Scriptures we have looked at were real followers of Jesus, they would have made way for these guys who needed His attention urgently, instead of blocking them off. Real followers do not resist others from reaching Jesus; they assist them.
They make you feel you are not worthy of being blessed.
They would give you many reasons why you cannot or should not be trusting God to change of status. They seek to remind you or all your flaws and failures when indeed God Himself has no record of them.
They want to claim ownership of God or His servants.
They make others feel that they are the ones with exclusive access to God or His servants, yet they lack the power and the proofs.
As these men did, look for a way through the roof. Any time the doorway is blocked, remember that there is always space on the roof.
If you have come across anyone with these characteristics, my charge to you today is – don’t let them stop you. The same people who are trying to stop you today will be all over you trying to identify with you tomorrow. Even though the crowd will always try to stop you, refuse to be deterred.