6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: Shows the different types of people who surrounded Jesus. Exhorts us to be disciples, not merely members of the crowd.

“A Face in the Crowd” (Matt. 21:8,9)


The Power of Numbers.

Example: Rock Concert

Types of People who followed Jesus:

A. Crowd

B. Enemies

C. Disciples

I. The Reaction of the Crowd at the Triumphal Entry.

Matthew 21:8, 9, “8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, "Hosanna to the Son of David!" "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!""Hosanna in the highest!"

A. Praise

B. Recognized Jesus was the Messiah.

C. Gave Him a Royal Welcome.

D. This was impressive to the people of Jerusalem…

E. This was not the first time the crowds had praised him.

F. The church’s praise.

But crowds are unpredictable.

II. The Reaction of the Crowd at the Trial of Jesus

A. The Enemies of Jesus were afraid of the crowds.

B. But they persuaded the crowd

Matt 27:20 “But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus executed.”

C. The Crowd turned against Jesus.

Matt. 27:22,23, “What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called Christ?" Pilate asked.

They all answered, "Crucify him!""Why? What crime has he committed?" asked Pilate.

But they shouted all the louder, "Crucify him!"

D. The Disciples Reaction: It was a horrible time for them. While they had various reactions, they didn’t turn against him as the crowds did.

III. Jesus’ feeling about crowds.

A. Jesus tried to get away from the crowds. Matt. 8:18

B. Jesus had compassion on the crowds—as lost sheep!

Matt. 9:36-37, “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.”

C. Jesus spoke of the crowds – Sheep & Goats & “Broad is… narrow is the way…”

Matthew 25:31, 32, “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.”

The sheep are among the goats—just as the disciples were among the crowd.

We know the goats are the “crowd” of many because

Matthew 7:13-14, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

D. Jesus commanded his disciples to make disciples—not crowds.

Matthew 28:19a, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations…”

IV. What doesn’t make a disciple! (Things the crowd did—but they were still not disciples)

A. Praise

B. They heard Jesus’ teachings. (Matt. 7:28)

C. They saw miracles and were filled with awe. (Matt. 9:8, 37)

D. They received healings and the feeding of 5000. (Matt. 14:14; 16-21)

E. But they were satisfied with seeing the spectacular, they never moved on to discipleship.

F. This would look like a good healthy church.

V. The marks of discipleship!

A. Individual Commitment

Matthew 8:18-22, “When Jesus saw the crowd around him, he gave orders to cross to the other side of the lake. Then a teacher of the law came to him and said, "Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go." Jesus replied, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head." Another disciple said to him, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father." But Jesus told him, "Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead."

Note that Jesus told different people different things. (For example, the Rich Young Ruler was to give up all his money.)

B. Total Commitment

Matthew 10:37-39 “"Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38 and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”

C. Intimate Commitment: But in his moment of crisis, he wanted the disciples to pray with him.

Matthew 26:38, “Then he said to them, "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me."

Conclusion: We should strive to be disciples of Jesus, not following the crowd—who are satisfied with watching the miracles and some outward praise—but we must make a personal, total, and intimate commitment to Christ!

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