Hi, I’m… Unpopular (Part Three: The Crowd)

The next group of people that Jesus’ actions were unpopular with? The crowd. Why? Because he didn’t live up to their expectations. They thought he was coming to overthrow the Romans and set them up as a people with political supremacy in the region. When he walked into Jerusalem on day two, they thought he was setting up the liberation movement. Word was going round that Jesus was a miracle worker and a prophet. They thought he was going to be their Messiah. Then he starts walking towards the temple. Some in the crowd were probably thinking, “Hey, buddy, you’re going the wrong way! If you’re looking for the palace to storm it’s over here!” He busts in, trashes the place and they probably thought, “Okay, I get it. Cleanin out the trash! Now let’s go put a hurtin on those Romans!” Then Jesus sits them down and begins to teach about love and submission. You can hear the gears grinding in people’s minds, “alright, this is a good way to live… after we bring the hammer down on the Romans!” Then the Pharisees threw in a hand grenade of a question, “Should we pay taxes to Caesar?”

Jesus fields it with uncanny wisdom, but he still says “yes, pay your taxes to Caesar”. You can feel the crowd getting the wind knocked out of them. He doesn’t stop there, though. “This temple and nation will be utterly destroyed,” he says. “And oh, by the way, I didn’t come to overthrow the Romans. I came to die here.” All kinds of questions probably started bouncing around in the minds of the crowd. The most prominent of was likely, “What kind of revolutionary leader are you?!”

What made Jesus unpopular with the crowd? He didn’t live up to their expectations. He didn’t even try to.

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