About Jesus   Steve Sweetman

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On The Band Wagon

In John 12:37 and 38 we gain some valuable insight to how John and Jesus viewed who a true disciple was. John quotes from Isa. 53:1 which says, "Lord, who has believed our report, and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed".

What was John implying by using this quote? Itís simple. For the most part Israel did not believe the message of Jesus, much like they did not believe the message of the prophets like Isaiah who prophesied these words. Even though the "arm of the Lord" was revealed in great miraculous power, people still didnít believe.

You might ask, "I thought Jesus had a great following of people"? Jesus did have huge crowds following Him, the largest of which would have been with Him in John 12. Thousands of people were cheering Him on as if He were a great superstar as He entered Jerusalem for the last time.

Throughout His three year ministry the crowds got larger and larger. All sorts of people were following Him around. Didnít this count for something in the eyes of Jesus? Why is John saying that no one believed Him when so many eyes were fastened on Jesus?

In the mind of Jesus just because people followed Him from town to town, saw and received miracles from Him, did not mean they were true disciples. These people were simply on the band wagon so to speak. Jesus did not consider the crowd disciples. He did not recognize them as belonging to Him or else John would not have quoted from Isa. 53:1. Jesus preached to the crowd, but He did not give Himself to the crowd as He did His disciples because He knew their hearts were evil.

Who Jesus did consider His own were those who were true disciples by His definition, that is, those who forsook themselves, took up His cross daily and gave themselves to Him. These people were few and far between when compared to the thousands that followed Him around on the band wagon.

Things havenít changed since those days. Not everyone who claims to be a Christian is one. There are many on the band wagon. They are observers as was the crowd. They arenít participants. And like the crowd in the last days of Jesusí earthly life, when the things get rough they will split. The true disciples of Jesus will be with Him to the end even if the cross comes true in their own life, and this might well be the case. Persecution will come and the crowd will scatter, purifying the church, showing who really is part of the Body of Christ.

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