The events in the week prior to the Lord’s death are so remarkable. Riding on a borrowed donkey, He had entered the city with a great multitude spreading garments and palm branches before Him. Their voices proclaimed that He was the son of David and that He had come in the name of the Lord. Some of the Pharisees shouted, “Teacher rebuke your disciples” (Luke 19:39), all to no avail.
The next day, Jesus entered the temple grounds and drove out the thieves who preyed on the common people who sincerely were coming to worship. Immediately, the political and religious leaders joined rank to thwart the impact of this triumphant entry into Jerusalem. Every question they asked—tribute to Caesar, marriage in the resurrection, religious authority—was easily answered. These frustrated leaders were silenced and laid plans to kill Him.
Two expressions describe the response of the multitude. “All the people were very attentive to hear Him” (Luke 17:48), and “The common people heard Him gladly” (Mark 12:37). What a contrast! The elite, the renown, the upper echelons of society and those generally seen as being above most around them all turned their backs on Him. Yet, the common people readily accepted Him!
No one ever believed in the ordinary man like Jesus did. He took a shepherd boy and made him the greatest king who ever ruled Israel. He took a tax collector and fishermen and made them foundation stones in the kingdom of heaven. He took a man clothed in camel’s hair and made him the forerunner who announced the coming kingdom.
Abraham Lincoln once said, “God must have loved the common people—He made so many of them.” The truth is that it has always been the common people who have most loved God. Paul observed, “For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble are called” (1 Cor. 1:26). Add to this the words of James, “Has not God chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those that love Him” (James 2:5)?
So what does this have to do with us? Probably far more than we imagine. The church is made up of common folks, yet it has a profound impact on the survival of our nation and impacts the eternal destiny of our society. So the next time you see the rich and famous, feel sorry for them! They have chosen not to be the chosen! On the other hand, one choice you made, as a common person, has made you the prized possession of heaven. Keep listening to Him!