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Friends in Christ Weekly Message
April 10, 2001

In front of Jesus and behind him, people went along shouting,
   God bless the one who comes in the name of the Lord!

Mark 11:9 (CEV*)
   Then Pilate asked the crowd, "What do you want me to do with this man you say is the king of the Jews?"
   They yelled, "Nail him to a cross!"

Mark 15:12-13 (CEV*)

There were just five days between these two events in Jerusalem. What a difference between the grand welcome Jesus got from the people on Palm Sunday and the response of the crowd just a few days later to the questioning by Pilate, who couldn't see of what crime Jesus was guilty.

I often wonder if some of the same people were in both crowds. People can be fickle and manipulated by those trying to stir up a mob.

Jesus was the same when the crowds were welcoming him and when they were vilifying him. His ministry was consistent. It was not spoiled by ego when he received the adulation of the people, and it was not spoiled by temporizing when he faced a veritable lynch mob.

We may never experience either extreme, but we will experience varied reactions to our faith. When being praised for the fruits of our faith, do we humbly acknowledge that it is Christ who is behind them and avoid entrapment by our egos? When facing opposition, are we firm and consistent in our faith even though others may think we are foolish and, in some cases, may even choose not to associate with us? Are we willing to really trust that God is in ultimate control, and our faithfulness will be for the best in the end even when it is not obvious to our minds at the moment how?

Bill Samuel

* Contemporary English Version ©1995 American Bible Society.

©2001 Friends in Christ, Inc.

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Document last modified on Saturday, 27-Dec-2003 11:57:44 EST