This is what God gave me today in His word:
Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him. And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying: (Matthew 5:1-2)
Jesus, apparently in an effort to get high enough to be able to speak to the entire crowd, goes to the top of a conveniently near-by mountain. Next, up came his disciples, while the crowd remained below. There’s a pretty clear separation that we can see here: we’ve got Jesus, we’ve got His disciples, and then we’ve got the untold masses below. Now, perhaps someone put up a sign that told the masses gathered below not to come up to where Jesus was, and Matthew simply forgot to record it, we don’t know. However, as far as we do know, the crowds didn’t come up because they didn’t want to.
They, apparently, preferred to hear Christ’s teaching from a safe distance. A distance, where they could quickly disappear from if Pharisees showed up… Yet, they were still allowed to hear Christ’s teaching, right along with the Jesus’ disciples, who had actually come up the mountain to be with Him. So, what’s the real difference between the masses, and the disciples? Both parties had the chance to follow Jesus around and hear Him speak, but only the masses could hurry off, and not be caught if those opposed to Jesus showed up. So, was the crowd actually in a better position than the disciples, who were physically closer to Christ, were?
Well, it’s true that physical proximity to Jesus doesn’t matter that much. However, Jesus does reward their willingness to openly follow Him later. Only the Disciples got to witness Jesus curse a fig tree. Only the Disciples got to hear Him say, “Peace be with you.” when He appeared to them after His crucifixion. But now, let’s get back to being realistic; how does any of this apply to us? Certainly it’s good for the Apostles to be able to climb the mountain and be physically close to Jesus, but so what? It’s not like we can do that.
The Apostles teach us a lesson: when we walk Spiritually close to Christ, He’ll walk close to us. – When we make Him the focus of our day, and when our aim is to please and to give glory to God, Christ will show Himself to us in new and sometimes unexpected ways.
So, which are we? One of the masses who hears Christ, but will run off the moment opposition arises, or a disciple, to whom Christ reveals Himself in new and different ways?
You are Loved!