Did Only Poor People Follow Jesus?

G. Campbell Morgan

The crowds who came to Jesus in the days of His flesh were not crowds composed of one particular class of people; rulers were in the crowds, fishermen, Pharisees, and tax collectors were in the crowds. There is a very popular fallacy abroad in the world that Jesus attracted persons of only one class, the poorer people, the working people. It is not true.

Now some of you are thinking that "the common people heard Him gladly" (Mark 12:37, NKJV). Yes, and no! That passage has been much misquoted. To begin with, the Bible never insults that class of people by calling them common in our sense of the word common. That phrase occurs in the Gospel of Mark and nowhere else. Mark seems to be a man always listening to the tramp of the crowds as they thronged on Jesus.

Once, in the course of translating the Gospel of Mark, both King James's translators and the revisers, for some reason, have rendered the same Greek phrase "much people" as "common people"; it is exactly the same phrase. Common does not mean poor people, working people. It means all sorts and conditions of people, the mixed multitude, the common crowd. I am quite willing to grant that there were more poor people than rich - because there are always more poor than rich in the world, always more illiterate people than learned. But Jesus Christ attracted all sorts and conditions of people. He was the great Center of attraction. The one thing people could not do with Him was to let Him alone. Wherever He came they came, and they thronged after Him in the country places, in the cities, along the highways.

Adapted from The Unstraitened Christ, by G. Campbell Morgan.

Originally published September 22, 2010.

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