Jesus and the Crowd
Luke's Other Character
In his biography of Jesus of Nazareth, Luke tells the story of Jesus heading back to his home town to visit the synagogue where he grew up. He is asked to preach the sermon and a few lines in we are told that all the people in the synagogue "spoke well of him and marveled at the gracious words that were coming from his mouth". All well so far...
Yet just a few lines later, by the end of his sermon, the crowd are reported as being so angry with Jesus that they drag him to the top of a nearby cliff with every intention of chucking him over the edge.
So what happened? How did the crowd go from doting admirers of the hometown boy to a murderous mob?
Tomorrow at CHOW we will be taking a closer look at the fascinating character of "The Crowd" who appears frequently throughout the Gospel of Luke. Simon Nash will be sharing his research into the nature of this character and Luke's portrayal of a crowd that is sometime ecstatic and joyful, sometimes fickle and easily led, sometimes curious or confused and sometimes just a lawless mob.
We will ask what these very deliberate portrayals of the different reactions to Jesus can teach us about Jesus relationship to the religious authorities, the dominating political and religious ideas of the time and of course, what they can tell us about ourselves - and the kind of reactions that we might expect from the crowd as followers of Jesus today...or as members of the crowd.