Summary: This sermon shows the difference between the Crowd who followed Jesus for what they can get and the Core group of disciples who followed Him to serve.
THE CROWD AND THE CORE
By Ng Wah Lok
Text : John 6:1-14
This Bible passage is the record of Jesus feeding 5000 people. It is one of His most spectacular miracles as it touched the masses. Many of Jesus’ miracles were performed on individuals but this particular one blessed 5000 people. As a result of this miracle, many of them wanted to make him a king. However, when he started to teach them that he was the Bread of Life sent from heaven and taught them other deeper truths, many in this multitudes left him. They disappeared as fast as they came.
66From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. 67Then Jesus said to the twelve, "Do you also want to go away?" 68But Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.
What made the difference in this behavior ? Why did the crowd leave while a small core group remained behind ? Below are some answers.
1. THE CROWD FOLLOWED THE SIGNS. THE CORE FOLLOWED THE PERSON
2Then a great multitude followed Him, because they saw His signs which He performed on those who were diseased.
The crowd was interested to see the miracles Jesus performed and be healed from their diseases. They came for a show. They were not interested in the person or his teaching.
It was the same story in Israel. Israel knew the acts of God. They saw the pillar of cloud by day and the fire by night but never understood much about God. In comparison, Moses knew God’s ways.
Many people are caught up with miracles and signs. Few are caught up with obeying Jesus and his teachings and loving Him as a person. We want God for ourselves and only to solve our problems.
TO FOLLOW A PERSON, WE MUST STUDY HIS TEACHINGS AND OBEY THEM
2. THE CROWD CAME TO RECEIVE. THE CORE CAME TO GIVE
9There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?"
It is amazing that out of the 5000 people, only one boy thought of giving his lunch packet. There were many others there too who had some food with them but they did not volunteer to give.
There are only few people who want to give, but many who want to receive. But how can God bless us if we do not sow into others ?
IT IS BETTER TO GIVE THAN TO RECEIVE
3. THE CROWD SAW DIFFICULTIES. THE CORE SAW OPPORTUNITIES.
15When it was evening, His disciples came to Him, saying, "This is a deserted place, and the hour is already late. Send the multitudes away, that they may go into the villages and buy themselves food." 16But Jesus said to them, "They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat."
For a moment, even the disciples behaved like the crowd. They wanted to send the people away. They wanted to get rid of this massive problem of 5000 people without food.
ARE YOU THE PROBLEM, OR THE SOLUTION
TO THE PROBLEM ?
4. THE CROWD SAT DOWN. THE CORE SERVED
10Then Jesus said, "Make the people sit down." Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. 11And Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks He distributed them to the disciples, and the disciples to those sitting down; and likewise of the fish, as much as they wanted.
The 5000 people were sitting down and eating, but a small number were busy serving them and collecting the remnants. It was tough work for this small group to serve the 5000 people.
Core people serve. The crowds were content just to be observers.
5. THE CROWD WANTED GLORY. THE CORE CHOSE THE PATH OF HUMILITY.
15Therefore when Jesus perceived that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king, He departed again to the mountain by Himself alone.
33For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world."
The crowd wanted to make Jesus the king, more because they wanted to be free from the Roman empire. But Jesus had other ideas. He came primarily to die for the sins of humanity. He had chosen to walk the path of humility.
It is interesting to know the crowd wanted to force their will on Jesus. Many people are not willing to pay the price for glory.
THE WAY TO GLORY IS THROUGH THE CROSS
6. THE CROWD LEAVES BUT THE CORE WILL REMAIN BEHIND