As Jesus walked the dusty trails of Judea, many came to Him for various reasons. There were those who came to Him for the healings He provided; others for the food He multiplied; while others came to genuinely hear what He had to say as He spoke His parables to those who were gathered around Him. But not all came to receive His free gift of salvation.
His fame spread abroad as the lame began to walk, the blind began to see, and the deaf began to hear after their one-on-one encounters with the One Who called Himself, The Son of God. Over 5,000 men, besides women and children, had been fed by a little boy’s lunch of five loaves and two fishes (Matthew 14:13-21), and another 4,000 men, besides women and children, were fed from seven loaves and a few fishes on another occasion (Matthew 15:29-39) after Jesus blessed the food and gave thanks, instructing the disciples to distribute the nourishment to those in attendance. The people were amazed and astonished at what He could do on their behalf.
But then the road grew difficult as Jesus asked the multitudes to take up their cross and follow Him as He made His way to Jerusalem (Luke 9:23). It was then the people began to leave Him and fade away from following Him. Those who had been healed returned to their families; those who had been fed found their sustenance elsewhere; those who listened to His words closed their ears to His voice. The crowd who followed Him to Calvary dwindled to only those who believed He truly was the Son of God.
John wrote in chapter one of his book, “He was in the world… and the world knew Him not. He came to His own, and His own received Him not.” The world did not receive Him as the Son of God; neither did His own people, the Jews. Isaiah tells us “He is despised and rejected of men… we hid as it were our faces from Him; we esteemed Him not” (Isaiah 53:3).
Then John gives this Truth in the next verse, “BUT as many as RECEIVED Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name” (John 1:12). Those who had not received Jesus as the Promised Messiah to come did not become His children. Only those who truly believed and received Him as the Savior were brought into the Kingdom of God.
Just as those who lived during Jesus’ time, there are those today who believe in His existence, experience His healing, eat of His bounty, but reject Him as Lord and Savior. The majority of mankind are unwilling to surrender their lives to Him, take up their cross and follow Him, just as those who walked away from Him almost 2,000 years ago. Jesus said narrow is the gate for those who follow Him; wide is the gate for all others who don’t that leads to destruction (Matthew 7:13-14). For those who receive Him, the narrow gate awaits that leads unto everlasting life. Jesus warns there are few that find it, just as there were few who found their way to the foot of the Cross on that long ago Good Friday.