Read Mark 2 when you have 2 minutes and look at all the people who wanted to be with Jesus. The crowds filled the house to hear him teach the word. The friends lower their paralyzed buddy. Levi goes with him. Jesus has a meal with tax collectors and sinners “for there were many who followed him” (2:15). His disciples followed him through the fields.
People wanted to be with Jesus.
When Jesus showed up a crowd would form…but not all for the same reason. Some wanted to see a miracle. Others wanted to hear his teaching. Still others wanted to follow him.
Then there were the teachers of the law and the Pharisees. They show up several times in Mark 2. They are around every corner looking for a problem. They complain when he forgives the man’s sin and accuse Jesus of a capital offense – blasphemy. They get upset that Jesus’ disciples don’t fast. And probably the creepiest of all, they spy on Jesus in the grain fields and accuse him of breaking Sabbath. I have a mental image of a Pharisee from Passion of the Christ peering through the stalks of wheat at Jesus and his disciples.
Everyone wants to be around Jesus. Some to criticize and find fault. Others to get their legs healed, their sins forgiven, or to make a new friend.
Why do you want to be around Jesus?
To not go to hell?
To network with important people?
Because our parents did?
Why do we want to be around Jesus? The answer to that question is extremely important.
I want to be around Jesus because I believe he is good and because he wants what is best for me even when I don’t know what is best for me. I want to be around Jesus because I love him and because I trust him. One day we will get to join the tax collectors and sinners in a great banquet in heaven and there won’t be anyone there to complain about it. I can’t wait!