‘While he was still speaking, suddenly a crowd came, and the one called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them.’ Luke 22:47 (NRSV)
Crowds that shouted “Hosanna”, crowds that were amazed by His miracles, crowds that pushed and shoved to hear Jesus’ words of life and now a crowd that watched Judas betray his friend.
Few in any of these crowds followed Jesus for the right reason. They were really more about what they could get rather than what they could offer. And that is why when crunch time came, in the crucible of persecution, they could join with Judas and watch as Jesus was betrayed to the authorities.
Crowds that cheered and crowds that jeered. I wonder which crowd we are standing in at the advent of this New Year? Where are our deepest affections today? Are we following the fickleness of the crowd or can we confidently claim that we are standing with Christ?
Perhaps we find ourselves following the crowd, whether that be among the culture we live in or the church that we serve in. We feel comfortable, safe, accepted. In settling for life with the crowd, we have given up what is far better: a life standing with Jesus. We cannot follow both. Jesus Christ invites us to a response. Resolve to stand with Him and set our heart on following only Him. What is our choice on the advent of this New Year?
‘Heavenly Father I have settled for something less, and given up what is best. Help me to live in the light of your love, despite where following you may lead me.’