Have you ever been in place where you were a part of a large crowd? Did you know that trying to move from one place to the other in a crowd of people can be a challenging experience? In fact, sometimes it is almost impossible to navigate a dense crowd. Moving through a crowd of people can almost be like trying to get through a brick wall.
I remember when I was about 15 years old, and I had not yet given my heart to God. My friend and I were waiting to get into an event. As young people we were so excited. There were so many people there and the crowd in front of the venue grew bigger and bigger as people continued to come. Finally, the ticket vendors opened the doors to the venue! As I began to take a step forward, the momentum and force from the crowd behind me became so strong, I found myself suddenly lifted from the ground and sandwiched between bodies of people. As the crowd moved forward, there was nothing I could do to regain my footing. I was floating into the building between people. It all happened so quickly, and I was scared that I would suddenly drop and be trampled. As everyone moved to find a seat, I hit the ground hard, but I was ok. In this instance I was at the mercy of the crowd and lost all control. A moving crowd can be an extraordinarily strong force.
Matthew 8:1, teaches us that many people followed Jesus, and as He grew in popularity the crowds also grew bigger, and bigger.
“When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him.”
The Bible describes this following of Jesus as “great multitudes” referring to many, many people. As the word of Jesus’ miracles spread throughout the country people came from all over to see Him. But not all came looking to know Jesus for themselves or to receive His help. There were many that just wanted to see Him perform miracles and the spectators became obstacles in the way of others.
One thing we find in common with each person that came sincerely wanting help from Jesus, is first they had to find a way to overcome the crowd in front of them. I will share a few examples with you briefly. There was a tax collector named Zacchaeus, who climbed a tree to get himself above the crowd. Jesus called him by name and that man, and his family received salvation. In another place as Jesus passed by, a blind man shouted His name from the side of the crowd, “Jesus of Nazareth!”, he yelled, and he caused a great big commotion! This blind man got Jesus’ attention and Jesus healed Him. In yet another place, a man who could not walk, had friends that loved him so much, they took the roof off the building where Jesus was preaching and lowered him on a cot directly in front of Him. This man was also healed and miraculously walked out of the building!
Each one of these precious people had a need they knew only Jesus could supply, and we are no different. Each one of us have needs only Jesus can supply. We have prayers for ourselves and others only Jesus can answer. We have a temporal needs that will take a miracle only Jesus can fulfil. Today I am going to talk about the need to be delivered from a sinful life. This is what we call salvation. When we ask Jesus to forgive our sins by His power, He takes those sins away from us forever. Jesus changes our heart so we can live a holy life. Only Jesus can break the power of sin our lives and can keep us from sinning thereafter. But before we can receive this power from Jesus, we must overcome the crowd that stands in our way to Him. Let us take a closer look at one woman’s story to see what we can learn about overcoming the crowd in front of us.
25 And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years,
26 And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse,
27 When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment.
28 For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.
29 And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.
30 And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes?
31 And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?
32 And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing.
33 But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth.
34 And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.
Young people it is important for you to know that sin is like a horrible plague. If there is sin in your life today, Jesus was wants to heal you. He wants to take all your sins away and make you whole. But just like this woman, to receive salvation, you will need to press through those things stopping you from reaching Jesus.
So, what can we learn from this reading? First, this woman had a need that she desperately wanted filled. The reason we know this is because the scripture tells us her issue was with her for 12 years, and she spent everything she had to solve the problem, but it did not get better. Her issue only became worse and that is exactly how the plague of sin works. We cannot learn to control sin. Sin in a person’s life only becomes worse. This woman suffered, and she was tired of the situation, but thank God she heard Jesus could solve her problem.
We live in a world today where people are in the same place as this woman. They are spending all they have, to find happiness and satisfaction in life, but nothing is working. There are many people today in support groups, and therapy because of issues they cannot resolve, and many of these issues are tied to sin. Issues caused by wounds from childhood, and I am talking about wounds of the heart, deep emotional pain resulting from traumatic events, the inability to trust others, or a heart that has simply just been broken. Many times, these issues manifest themselves later in life as bad habits or sins, like alcoholism, addiction, and not just to drugs, anything that is out of balance and used to escape reality in life can be an addiction. Sin has a way of spoiling what should be good. These are issues that Jesus wants to solve. Unfortunately, there so many things standing in the way between precious people and Jesus. Sometimes the crowd is so dense, people are not able to simply see Jesus as the solution for their problem. In essence, many have a large crowd to overcome before they can reach Him.
So, my question to you is do you know who or what is in the crowd standing in your way to Jesus? Before salvation, each one of us have or had a crowd blocking our way to Jesus. I would like to share with you the things in the crowd that blocked my way to Jesus before He saved me.
My upbringing or the way I was raised was in the crowd in front of me. I was raised Catholic, so I had religious beliefs that I had to overcome. So yes, unbelief stood next to my upbringing in front of me along with false religious ideas. Growing up, I was taught no one could ever stop sinning. So, when I heard the truth, I did not think it was possible to live a holy life.
I was young and High School was difficult for me. Like many young people I was socially awkward. So, I picked up bad habits and addictions to mask my insecurities just to have friends, but this only made things worse. I was spending all my energy on the wrong things. Eventually the promise of love added itself to the crowd in front of me. I spent all that I had left on that promise and I married a young man that was not good for my life. Unfortunately, the marriage ended in a broken heart and at just twenty-one years old, I began to feel there was nothing good life could offer. But thank God, it was my broken heart and the realization I needed a savior that created a path for me to reach Jesus. If your heart is broken today, and you want to have real love in your life, I have good news for you.
“18 The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.”
This scripture shows us that God is close when our hearts are broken. But it is also important to remember that if we want to reach Jesus, we will need to press through the things standing in our way. The devil will only continue to add to the crowd stopping us until we are determined to get Jesus’ attention. The night I gave my heart to Jesus, He broke the power of sin in my life, and He can do the same for you. If you will press beyond the crowd before you, you will get Jesus’ attention and He will meet your need.