7 Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the lake, and a large crowd from Galilee followed.8 When they heard about all he was doing, many people came to him from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, and the regions across the Jordan and around Tyre and Sidon.9 Because of the crowd he told his disciples to have a small boat ready for him, to keep the people from crowding him. 10 For he had healed many, so that those with diseases were pushing forward to touch him. 11 Whenever the impure spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, “You are the Son of God.” 12 But he gave them strict orders not to tell others about him.
My daughter was a gifted golfer who won the Big 12 Conference championship before going on to play professionally. She once chatted with a fellow player who told her that she wanted to be famous. After asking this young woman what she wanted to be famous for, my daughter probably expected to hear about a dream of becoming a star on the LPGA, but the response was perplexing: “I don’t know, I just want to be famous.”
The pursuit of celebrity or any type of notoriety has become a religion. So many young people who would do anything to have the fame or money of Justin Bieber or Kim Kardasian. Never mind the fact that the latter made her fame by releasing a porn video. How many current singers started out singing in church and are now singing graphic lyrics while wearing as little clothing as possible. It seems that pretty much every aspect of our lives is up for sale for the price of fame and fortune.
Now, consider Jesus. He viewed fame as a hindrance. He was physically exhausted as He spent long days and nights ministering to the suffering and brokenness of common people. The infatuation of the growing crowds just made His work harder. Though worthy of all praise and glory, during his earthly ministry Jesus did not seek the approval of anyone but His Father in heaven. Jesus had no use for being a rock star; He was pouring out His life as the cornerstone of the meaningful following that God was building.