A crowd is a group of people who gather together in a particular place for a singular purpose. Sometimes the crowd gather to watch, to protest or to listen to someone. In a field of play, the crowd are those who only watch things happen. They are not necessarily part of the game.
The crowd comes to clap, shout, sing praises, and even criticize those who are in the game. They always have different versions of what to say on whatever happens.
In today’s gospel, the crowd indicates the other people who are not among the closest companions of Jesus. They are neither the disciples nor apostles of Jesus, they only follow Jesus wherever He goes.
The crowd follow Jesus with different intentions, some come for healing, some for a miracle, some come to eat, while some come only to find something against Him. There are those who also come to Jesus in order to listen to Him.
When Jesus talks to His Disciples
Jesus talks to the crowd sometimes in parables but to His disciples, He teaches in plain terms. The best way to truly come to a knowledge of Jesus is to be His closest companion. In essence, we become the crowd when we are not in a personal or close relationship with the Lord. This is when we become only churchgoers, ordinary members or only come to Jesus for an intention and still go back to remain the way we are .
Let us take some points from today’s reading:
Jesus and the Crowd
Jesus knew quite well that the crowd has been following Him around all this while and He intends to know; “this crowd that has been following me, what do they think I am?”. The disciples give Jesus different answers.
The first point here is that sometimes those who are close to us know what people say about us than we do. The disciples must be interacting with the people that made them know their opinion of their Master. Sometimes it is good to interact with those who stay close to us, those who work for us or serve us, there are things they know that we do not know ourselves. Never belittle them.
Lack of True Knowledge
Secondly in their answer, the crowd was referring to Jesus as Elijah, John the Baptist or like other prophets, a sign that they do not have a true knowledge of the personality of Jesus. And this is why they changed from being an associate during the lifetime of Jesus to be his accuser and tormentor at the time of His death.
There was a time the crowd even wanted to make Jesus king (John 6:15). They shouted Hosanna for Him (John 12:13) but at the time of suffering they all shouted crucify Him (Luke 23:21, Mark 15;13).
They do this because they lack that deep knowledge of Who Jesus is. When we belong to the crowd, our knowledge of Jesus will be limited to what we hear about Him and cling to vague ideas of who He is.
Because our knowledge of Him is not deep-rooted, we might see Him as not real, and when problems come, we turn back to blame Him for our problems and even lose faith totally in Him.
Sign of True Faith
The Jews expected a Messiah that would ride on horses, with troops of soldiers following him, to fight and conquer their enemies. The way Jesus was living was very far from people’s conception of how the Messiah would be.
Peter confesses who Jesus is because He is one of the inner caucus; a close companion of Jesus.
For Peter to see how simple and poor Jesus was and yet confessing Him as the Messiah is a sign of trust and faith.
So, when we truly come close to God, we would trust whatever He does whether good or bad and whether it becomes easy or difficult. Our faith in Him remains strong. Let us always be His closest companion.
The Crowd’s Opinion
People’s opinion about Jesus is not who Jesus is. They were only left on the level of imagination. This also teaches us not to easily conclude on the personality of any person whenever you hear something about him or her.
Do not get angry, hate or fight any person because of what you hear about him or her. It may not be truly who the person is. Sometimes, it is good to go close to the person and know his own side of the story. It is when you come close to people that you will truly know them.
The Opinion of the Crowd
When you look at the gospel, one can understand that the crowd has different conceptions about Jesus. Let us always know that people will always have different notions and versions of you both good and bad.
Do not depend on people’s opinion of who you are. And do not give the crowd the chance to give you a personality that you are not. You know your true character, always stand out of the crowd.
When you Follow the Crowd
Sometimes when you follow the crowd, you lose your worth. Robert Kiyosaki the great financial tutor says “No one achieves great things by following the crowd. Have a spine. Strike your own path, because you are not them.”
May God bless you beloved and give us the grace to remain close to Him. May He give us the strength to conquer our challenges. Amen.