In Matthew 5:1, it tells us: “Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them.”
Some of you may be familiar with this section of scripture and remember this is what is known as the Sermon on the Mount. This is His most widely known sermon, where He shares some amazing truths about His Kingdom. As He begins to speak the greatest sermon in history, we see that there are two groups of people He is addressing: the crowd; and His disciples. And I think it’s important that we understand the difference between these two groups.
The crowd were those who were intrigued by Jesus. They were fascinated by what they’d heard about this new teacher whose teachings were different than any they had ever heard before. They were amazed by the miracles that He had performed and hoped that they could experience some of what He had. And though the crowds constantly surrounded Jesus, the people who were in the crowds were constantly changing.
Then there were the disciples: a small group of people who weren’t just intrigued by Jesus and His teachings, they were people who chose to follow Him. They were fully committed to Jesus and His ministry.
A little while back in our men’s group, we went through a study titled “Not a Fan.” The study talked about this same idea: Are we simply fans of Jesus who give the occasional nod to Him or are we followers who seek to obey Him and follow His commands?
The truth is, being a fan or a part of the crowd is much easier, but that’s not God’s desire for our lives. He has called us to be His disciples and to follow Him—to not just know of Him and His teachings, but to truly KNOW Him and to live out His teachings.
Are we merely intrigued and fascinated with Jesus or are we actually committed to Him and His will for our lives? Just being part of the crowd isn’t enough. My prayer is that we can step out of the crowd and become the disciples that He’s calling us to be.