Drawing a Crowd (Luke 11)

One of the things we pastor-types are very concerned about is drawing a crowd. We talk about drawing a crowd, then making a congregation – or a committed core – out of them.

In today’s reading (Luke 11) we see how great Jesus was at drawing a crowd. Like in verse 13 where He tells the people that they’re evil. Or in verse 28 where the woman says, “Blessed is your mother Jesus,” and He says “Wrong!” Not, “Thank you, I love her too,” but “Wrong!” In verse 29 the crowds increase, and to welcome them Jesus calls them wicked.

It seems like Jesus’ rudeness makes a Pharisee think, “Hey, maybe I could be friends with this guy,” so he invites Jesus over for a meal. So what does Jesus do in verses 37-44? Insult the guy. Another group at the dinner party say, “Wait, we kind of feel insulted by those remarks as well.” And so in verses 46-52, Jesus makes it absolutely clear that He meant to insult them also.

Weird. And what’s even weirder is that we see in the beginning of chapter 12 that all of this caused … “a crowd of many thousands” to gather. Weird.