Now when they had left the multitude…
Beloved, sometimes we have to leave the multitude. Sometimes we have to get far from the madding crowd. We cannot reach the pinnacle of our destiny by hanging around people all the time. Some gifted Christians don’t make it to the zenith of their potential, careers or ministries because they are very happy to go with the flow, blend with the crowd and follow the mob. Not so with top-notch disciples!
Beloved, there is no question about Jesus’ compassion for the masses (see Matthew 14:14, 15:32). There is also no question about the popular impact and influence of the Lord’s earthly ministry. However, His practice and wisdom of tactical withdrawal from the crowds is unmissable and instructive. Let us consider a couple of examples of this wisdom.
Firstly, wise disciples are not carried away by large crowds. As the Lord enables you, go ahead and minister to them, but by all means remain levelheaded! Learn to balance your private and public ministry. Secondly, one-on-one ministry has far-reaching impact, when it’s done under the Spirit’s guidance. Sometimes the best way to reach many is to reach one person. Don’t underestimate the power of personal ministry!
For instance, when Jesus and company crossed over to the other side (the region of the Gerasenes), Jesus saved Legion who later became a powerful evangelist throughout the Decapolis. Historians tell us that this local, newly delivered guy was able to effectively reach many people and impact future generations for Christ. That’s the power of switching from mass-ministry to one-on-one ministry! Be open to the Spirit’s guidance in this regard today, will you?
Thirdly, ministry to crowds must not replace your devotional life. We can minister to and fellowship with the multitude, but we cannot seek the Lord’s face with the crowd. In fact, it is how well you privately seek the Lord’s face and study His Word that prepares and empowers you for public ministry. May your personal walk with Jesus inspire your public ministry for God!