Christ, Christians and the mob mentality

The way people treated Christ is basically how they’ll treat his disciples. Since persecution is a fact of life for Christians (2 Timothy 3:12), we shouldn’t expect anything less.

“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you” (John 15:18, NKJV).

Everything about Jesus’ trial was illegal (Mark 14:53-59). Their hatred consumed them (Isaiah 53:7-9). The mob took to the streets with blood on their minds. They were willing to free a notorious murderer and a thief just so they could see Jesus killed (Matthew 27:17-20).

By definition a mob is out of control and irrational. Many of the participants don’t even know why they are there, only that they have a license to chaos or anarchy (Acts 19:25-32).

A mob will destroy their own homes and neighborhoods and kill without reason. People in a mob are carried along on a wave and they think they won’t be held responsible for their actions.

The people calling for the blood of Jesus were religious people who believed in Judaism with all their hearts. Their leaders were the most influential in their religion.

But there’s more.

Consider how well-known John the Immerser was with his teaching and baptism (Luke 7:29). Later, when Jesus’ public ministry became prominent, the Lord was followed by countless people who crowded around him at all times (Mark 5:24; 12:37; John 6:2). Everyone knew who he was.

Combining the prominence of Jesus with his miracles, teaching and the numbers of his followers (cf. Acts 17:6), we can look at passages such as John 6:66 and realize that the chances are good that some of his former disciples were calling for his death. Even Peter denied him (Mark 14:66-72) and Judas betrayed him (Mark 14:43-45).

The mob, still led by Satan (John 8:44; 1 Peter 5:8), will continually attack the righteous. We can expect even those who call themselves religious and Jesus’ former disciples to be among the mob. We just can’t take it personally because it’s bigger than all of us (Ephesians 6:10-12).

Jesus remembered his mission and spoke the word when it would make a difference. That is all we can do. Heaven is greater than anything man can do to us (Psalm 56:11). Stay strong (Romans 8:35-39).

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