1 Crowd - 2 Outcomes"But even so, Paul and Barnabas could scarcely restrain the people from sacrificing to them. Now some Jews arrived from Antioch and Iconium and turned the crowds into a murderous mob. They stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, apparently dead" (Acts 14:18-19).
You can't trust the crowd! When they are cheering, when they are applauding, when they are loving and gracious--you can't trust the crowd! I'm tempted to trust the crowd. I want their love and I want their praise. It feels really good to be accepted and honored. But I know that I can't trust them.
Paul and Barnabas had healed a man who couldn't walk and the observing crowd immediately concluded that Paul and Barnabas were gods worthy of great sacrifice and honor. Just one verse later, the crowd is trying to kill Paul and Barnabas. Conclusion? You can't trust the crowd!
Jesus didn't trust the crowd! In John 2:23-25, the crowd had begun to love Jesus because of the miracles that he was doing. "But Jesus didn't trust them, because he knew human nature. No one needed to tell him what mankind is really like" (v23-25). Sure enough, later, we see the crowd giving Jesus a parade in Matthew 21 to begin passion week--only to crucify him by the end of the same week. Never trust a crowd!
Though I'm certainly not Jesus, Paul, or Barnabas, I am quite familiar with the ability of a crowd to quickly turn. I've tasted the sting of betrayal by friends and coworkers--sheep for whom I've provided care. Maybe we all have? Never trust a crowd!
So if we can't trust the crowd, who can we trust? "This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I TRUST HIM" (Psalm 91:2).