The wisdom of the crowd

A crowd or group can be a powerful force. It can intimidate even the bravest among us.  since the beginning of time it seems that individuals have been known to submit to the “wisdom” of the crowd. “Everybody else is doing it” or “everybody thinks this” is a persuasive reason to just go along with it.  If we think a little different or don’t do as everyone else we are considered weird, foolish, deviant or at worst psychotic.  When individuals are classified in this negative way some really awful things can start to happen. They are made fun of for sure, and they are also ostracized.  Sometimes it can lead to violence and other forms of attacks. No doubt most of  us whether consciously or not try to fit in. But what if being a little different is best for us or just the right thing to do.

In Nazi Germany many fell under the influence of the group and just did what everyone else was doing. They turned in their fellow countrymen if they were Jews and looked the other way while they were systematically stripped of their possession, taken into camps and ultimately killed. It was madness for sure, but everybody was doing it.  Sometimes the crowd is not so wise. It is a warning that screams from the pages of history that doing what everyone is  doing and thinking like everyone else, although easy, even safe for the moment, may be the wrong action to follow.

In Mathew 20 the crowd is present. The force is clear as they attempt to control the situation. Two blind men heard Jesus coming and immediately knew the right thing to do. They called for Jesus.  There is a need for Jesus’ presence in our society today. Many are hurting because of a dark episode in their past that haunts them. Some know there is more to this life  and just want to understand what it is. Some are rightly concerned about eternity. Others desperately seek the truth and what is good. All of these seekers are in need of Christ. However the crowd is screaming for them to be quiet. Today they scream that Jesus is a fable. The crowd says religion is a hoax and God is not real.  It takes courage to persist in seeking what is right for you even when it goes against the crowd.

In Matthew 20 these two blind men could not be controlled by the crowd and as scripture proclaims “…cried the more, saying, Have mercy on us, O lord, thou son of David.” They kept calling on Jesus and did so even more forcefully than before. Jesus, God almighty made flesh turned to these lowly blind men, and asked them what he should do. Jesus already knew. But He wanted them to proclaim their faith to an unbelieving world and they did.

They say unto him, Lord, that our eyes may be opened. (Matthew 20:33)

Jesus had compassion and healed them. The lesson to learn is simple.  We can’t be guided by the wisdom of the crowd.  We have to understand what is best for us. The crowd can be wrong. Even when it takes courage we must do what is right. Finally, seeking Jesus is the right decision even when the rest say no. He will have compassion and hear your call.

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Persist and don’t lose heart

Then He spoke a parable to them; that men always ought to pray and not lose heart…Luke 18:1

I want what I want, and I want it now! Unfortunately it doesn’t always work like that and it’s really sad when we really need, not want, something. We can feel desperate, at the very least anxious. Depression might even set in.

Does God want us to give up? The straight answer is no. God wants us to trust in Him and persist in asking. Is this nagging? Call it what you want God will not get angry if you are persistent.

Jesus explained that there was an evil Judge that ignored the plea of a widow. She asked over and over for justice and never gave up. Finally he just had to hear and act on her behalf. Jesus further explained that God unlike the evil judge will gladly answer and give his children good gifts. But for reasons that are different in every case God may delay. However, he does not want us to give up hope. Paul also spoke of persistent prayer in Ephesians 6:18 and of praying without ceasing in 1 Thessalonians 5:17. If we must persist, the obvious implication is that we are not getting what we want right away.

Sometimes we are forced to wait because we are not ready. Image receiving a promotion too soon, it will only be to our detriment when we find ourselves incompetent in the role. On other occasions our prayers involve others who may not be ready for the great work God is going to do. Finally there are occasions when the blessing will be much greater at a future time.

We are not in a position to question God’s timing. What we must do is never give up. Keep on asking and never lose faith, in due time He will answer!