(12-19) The Twelve Apostles and Jesus Ministers to a Great Multitude
From these verses it appears that Jesus had a large following of disciples, and from this large following, He chose twelve whom he named apostles and who followed Him everywhere. Judas Iscariot is harshly criticized for betraying Jesus, Peter is ridiculed for denying Jesus, and the rest are ribbed for fleeing at Jesus’ darkest hour. But what of the “great crowd” of disciples? Perhaps they only stuck around for a few days to hear a few good words and see a couple hundred miracles being performed, but they were not committed to Jesus for the long-term. Jesus the Christ desires faithful followers who are dedicated to His mission and will stick by Him to the end.
(20-23) The Beatitudes
Jesus says, “Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man!” This reminds us that Christians who are persecuted ought not to think that people hate them because something is wrong with them. It is on account of Jesus the Christ that they are disliked. People don’t necessarily hate us, just the Christ in us.
Favorite verse: (9) And Jesus said to them, “I ask you, is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to destroy it?”