Jesus' problems with the crowds

The Life of Jesus Christ - Chapter 10 - Jesus' arrest and appearance at court - Part 2

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An online Bible Study course by Barrie Wetherill about the life of Jesus. This book is in EasyEnglish Level B. Use the links below for other online Bible Study books and commentaries that will help you. Or go to the Word List, which explains words with a *star.

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The people did not want to change the way that they lived

For a time, Jesus was very popular with crowds. Many people came because they wanted Jesus to cure them. And Jesus did cure them. He told people not to speak about this, but they did. The news about him spread everywhere. There were *miracles. For example, he fed 5000 people by a *miracle (John 6:5-14). Enormous crowds came because of this. Then the crowd wanted to make Jesus king by force. He had to escape from them. But although he was popular, they did not really obey him. They did not want to change the way that they lived. Jesus said:

John 6:26, 27 Jesus answered, ĎI tell you the truth. The reason why you are looking for me is not the *miracles. You are looking for me because I gave you plenty of bread to eat.

Do not work for food that becomes bad. Work for the food that gives you eternal life. [Jesus did not mean the food that you eat, here. This word 'food' really meant Jesus himself. 'Eternal life' is the life that God gives to believers now, and which will continue in heaven.] The Son of Man [Jesus] will give you this food. God the Father has shown that he approves of himí.

After this, Jesus said some very difficult things. That made many people decide not to obey him (John 6:66).

What did Jesus' *miracles mean?

The crowds loved to see the *miracles. But *miracles were signs of who Jesus was. People who understood that would repent. [Repent means to be sorry for the wrong things that you have done. You decided to love God, and start to obey him.] They would trust Christ. In fact, in many places people saw the *miracles, but did not repent. Jesus spoke against these places. The words that he spoke about this were very severe. In this passage, Jesus spoke about these towns as if they were people. He blamed the people from these towns for their weak reaction to his message:

Matthew 11:20-24 Then Jesus began to accuse the people who lived in these cities. He had done most of his *miracles there, but the people did not *repent. 'This is not good for you, Chorazin! This is not good for you, Bethsaida! You have seen many *miracles. If such *miracles happened in the cities of Tyre and Sidon, their people would have *repented. They would have shown how sorry they were. But I tell you that a day of *judgement is coming. Then it will be better for Tyre and Sidon than for you. And you, Capernaum, what will happen to you? Will God be pleased with you? Will he bless you? No, not at all. If Sodom had seen *miracles like these, it would have remained to this day. But I tell you that it will be better for Sodom on the day of *judgement than for you.'

All that people wanted was the *miracles. But *miracles should make a person want to obey God.

Jesus' explanation of the people's reactions to him

What Jesus talked about in the parable of the farmer was now true. [A parable is a story with a meaning.] The parable of the farmer is in Matthew 13:1-9. The farmer sowed seed on different kinds of soil. Some seed fell among rocks, with not enough soil. It grew quickly, but had not enough roots. The sun came out and the plants died. Jesus explained that this referred to some people. They gladly listened to Jesus' message. But their joy did not last. When there was any kind of trouble, they did not trust him. Only some of the farmerís seed had deep roots. So, only some of the people who followed Jesus, really trusted him.

Many people gave a welcome to Jesus when he entered Jerusalem. They praised him gladly. But perhaps some of these people joined another crowd later that week. And that crowd shouted: '*Crucify him'.

Many in the crowds did not think about what Jesus said about goodness and *judgement. They  wanted *miracles. And they wanted to see Jesus cure people. They did not like what he said in passages like Matthew 16:24-28.


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