“His Fame Spread”
Great fame and great crowds attached themselves to Jesus because of his great acts of healing, healing acts that were great because they demonstrated the very real presence of God and because they were driven by the very real power of God’s very real grace, love, and mercy.
Later, though, Jesus would demonstrate the very real presence of God, the very real power of God and the very real grace, love, and mercy of God in ways that would turn his fans who considered him famous into foes who considered him infamous.
God, give us the grace and the wisdom not to put too much stock in the ways that our ministry and service do or do not impress people; give us the grace and the wisdom not to evaluate the effectiveness or validity of our ministry and service by the ways in which people do or do not respond to us; give us the grace and the wisdom—and the courage—to understand that sometimes people will respond well when our ministry and service are not Christ-like and that sometimes they will respond badly when our ministry and service are Christ-like.
And if fame does come our way, don’t let us quite believe it.
“So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought to him all the sick, those who were afflicted with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, and paralytics, and he cured them. And great crowds followed him from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and from beyond the Jordan” (Matthew 4:24-25).