Jesus Ministers to a Great Multitude17 And he came down with them and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, 18 who came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases.And those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured. 19 And all the crowd sought to touch him, for power came out from him and healed them all.
Accompanying John MacArthur sermon: The Popularity and Power of Jesus
There are a lot of people in this crowd who are about to hear the Sermon on the Mount.
First there is "them" - who are, of course, the Apostles, twelve disciples that Jesus has just chosen to be His intimate followers, the ones He would train to take over His ministry and to be His messengers of the gospel.
Then there is also a great crowd of his disciples - students who are wanting to learn from Jesus. And it's a mixed group - there's brand new believers, there's superficial believers who don't end up taking the full step into salvation, there's those who have been believers for a little longer already, there's some who are already beginning to become negative about Jesus and His message and who will soon desert Him. There is a mixture of wheat and tares here, and there are a lot of them, a great crowd.
And then there is another group - the curious, the uncommitted - a great multitude of people. And they came from everywhere. Everywhere! From Jerusalem, the very heart of Judaism, throughout all Judea, and even as far as Tyre and Sidon - Gentiles from Phoenicia. This is a long journey. Just the distance from the northern border of Galilee to the southern border of Judea is 160+ miles. And they did not have cars. That is a long way to walk! You likely literally had towns shutting down, businesses closing their doors as the throngs of people came to see Jesus. It's incredible when you realize what this seemingly simple statement is actually saying!
We know from the story of the feeding of the five thousand men plus women/children that there was probably 20,000-30,000 people there at that time. These are huge huge crowds!
What drew them all to Jesus? Simply, His power.
Before Jesus sits down to teach, He heals the people and casts out demons. Check that - He doesn't just heal people, He heals ALL the people. Isn't that amazing? He heals them all. Everyone that was sick, was healed. No wonder He was drawing crowds in the tens of thousands!
He preached divine truth. He healed the physical body. He healed the spiritually body. Amazing power, and something only God could do.
MacArthur points out.....
Tomorrow's scripture focus: Luke 6:20-26