“When Jesus saw His ministry drawing huge crowds, He climbed a hillside. Those who were apprenticed to Him, the committed, climbed with Him. Arriving at a quiet place, He sat down and taught His climbing companions.” (Matthew 5:1,2 The Message)
Crowds always collect around events and individuals that are curious or exciting. Jesus was all that and more, and so naturally His ministry drew large crowds. But He knew that crowds are fickle. So when He saw His ministry attracting large crowds — He climbed a hillside.
This was a decisive movement upward; an intentional maneuver sure to root out those who were only looking for the easy way, the free ride. And as the Lord expected, the crowd dispersed. You see, crowds don’t climb hillsides.
What happened next is what the Lord was after all along. Those who were committed climbed with Him. Is that you? When the crowds fade away, and following Jesus is no longer the popular thing to do, or the easy thing to do — will you still be His climbing companion?
If so, He will take you to the summit!
The scripture tells us that we are “partakers of a heavenly calling” (Heb.3:1). It is “the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil.3:14). It is the call of God upon our lives that makes mediocrity unacceptable. The word mediocrity literally means “halfway up a mountain.” Are you going to settle for only following Christ halfway? I didn’t think so.
Set your sight for higher ground, my friend. And one day heaven will be your next stop.