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Five different types of people in the crowds who followed Jesus on Palm Sunday

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When Jesus rode a colt into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, there were five distinct groups of people in the crowd who followed Him. These groups were:

  1. The Committed
  2. The Confused
  3. The Pretenders
  4. The Curious
  5. The Opposition

The first group comprised the committed ones. According to Matthew 21:6-7, "The disciples left and did what Jesus had told them to do. They brought the donkey and its colt and laid some clothes on their backs. Then Jesus got on." A committed follower recognizes Jesus as Lord. A committed follower is one who follows Jesus' leadership without questioning Him or His motives.

In the second group were the confused ones. According to Matthew 21:10-11, "When Jesus came to Jerusalem, everyone in the city was excited and asked, “Who can this be? The crowd answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

The confused don’t recognize Jesus for who He truly is. They may see Jesus as a good man, a wise man or a prophet. The confused don’t understand God’s plan for their life. They may confess that Jesus is Lord with their mouth; yet they believe that their works and not God’s grace will save them.

The third group included the pretenders. According to John 12:37, "He had worked a lot of miracles among the people, but they were still not willing to have faith in Him." Pretenders are often present in almost every crowd. They have no real commitment to Jesus. They want to be seen by others, but they will not surrender complete control of their lives to God. Pretenders take the path of least resistance and will let the approval of others dictate their level of commitment. They go through the motion, but their hearts are lukewarm.

The fourth group included those who were curious. According to John 12:17-18, "A crowd had come to meet Jesus because they had seen Him call Lazarus out of the tomb. They kept talking about Him, and this miracle."

The curious were those whose mind was wondering what Jesus would do. They had heard how He had raised the dead and healed the sick. They followed in the crowd because they wanted to see what Jesus would do as He rode on a cult into Jerusalem.

The fifth group included the opposition. According to Luke 19:37-39, "Some Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, 'Teacher, make your disciples stop shouting!'"

The opposition tries to promote its own interests. Those in opposition to Jesus oppose a commitment to Him because commitment requires changing the focus to be on Jesus and not on themselves. Opponents actively seek to destroy the message of Jesus Christ.

The question on this Palm Sunday is a simple one: "Which crowd are you a part of: the committed, the confused, the pretenders, the curious or the opposition?"

No matter which crowd you are in, know that Jesus gave His life for you, and He rose again that you might have eternal life. As Jesus rode into Jerusalem He saw and recognized everyone in the crowd. He knew each and every story. And He knows your story as well.

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