Are we fearfully brave enough to mingle in the crowd? Are we fearfully brave enough to blend with a few?
Christ displayed both extremes.
He faced the crowds: miraculous healings, food for the throng coming from an unexpected source, multitudes of people listening to hear His stories, skeptics staring and evaluating, society’s rejects finally feeling accepted, swarms gazing at the mystery of His identity. He elected a minority: seventy or twelve or three or one. In hiding, on boats. Taking walks, telling stories. The meals and the naps and the aromas and the questions.
The facial expressions of a few: Jesus saw them.
The moods of the many: Jesus knew them.
Among masses or with a minority, Jesus paused to take time.
Instead of letting time be robbed from Him, of letting time control Him, of letting time be missed, He took the time to see and hear, to taste and feel, to touch and smell. Jesus could see a prostitute’s eyes and heart, not just her story known by critiques. Jesus could smell an expensive aroma and know its true value, not just the cost which caused His ministry administrator to have a panic attack. Jesus could exit a marketing moment with the crowd gazing at His every move, not just to avoid the noise but to engage in dialogue with the Father and away from the pack.
These days? Balancing many and few isn’t easy. Letting ministry moments include our inner encounters with God instead of being controlled by results scored by human minds isn’t simple. Knowing God rather than just knowing about Him isn’t easy. Staring at a crowd and imagining Jesus glancing back isn’t easy. Stepping away from the swarm of people applauding and choosing to hide away in solitude isn’t easy.
Jesus faced the multitudes. But He also hid away alone with His Father, and He hid away with a few.
Time with Peter and James and John—not just the thousands.
Awake and away early to pray—as others slept while the sun slowly rose.
Repeating a studied text to a multitude of learners—and brave enough to speak truth to the crowd rather than being controlled by their politics.
Noticing the shorter ones in the crowd—not pursuing relationships with the well-known in order to expand His marketing-me-as-the-Messiah campaign.
Rest away with a few. Voice the truth to the many. A balanced diet, a balanced ministry, a balanced life.
How are you with the few? How are you with the many?