Jesus was popular. On re-reading the gospel of Mark, I now suddenly realise just how popular He was. It was crazy. It was amazing; this shows how huge of an impact He made. People from all over the place were filled with awe, amazement, wonder and curiosity for this man. This Man. Never forget the capital letters when you're talking about God, haha. This Man, who, for the record, kept his Identity secret most of the time. Jesus did miracles and told stories and preached the Gospel, and all these swarms and crowds to came to see Him.
"News about Jesus spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee." (And this was before emails, postal services, newspapers and telegrams. In case you had forgot.)
"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." (W O W. This is more than just random village people. Much more.)
In case you didn't get this yet, it got so crazy that Jesus couldn't even walk around in town openly and sometimes he didn't even have time to eat. He had to make an effort to be alone to pray, and I bet He had to make an effort too, to have some 'alone time' with Him and the twelve apostles. (The thought of this must make some of us introverts nervous!)
"Many ran on foot from all town and got there ahead of them."
"Jesus could no longer enter a town openly."
"And again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat."
(Sometimes the crowd forgot about food too. But then that boy with the five loaves and two fish came to the rescue and Jesus did something amazing.) Anyway, point made: Jesus sure had more than twelve disciples. He had millions of them. The reactions mentioned in Mark all all just filled with AWE. Again and again, phrases like these are mentioned:
"People were overwhelmed with amazement."
"People were overwhelmed with wonder for Jesus."
"The whole crowd was amazed at His teaching."
"The large crowd listened to Him with delight."
Imagine if in that time, the Internet was a thing. And if Jesus had a Youtube channel or something. Imagine the comments. We could take them right out of the Bible - the comments that people gave Him.
"We have never seen anything like this!"
"Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey Him!"
"He has done everything well."
And of course:
"He is out of His mind."
... made by his own family. And we also have more nasty comments; enough to have Jesus killed later on. Enough for crucifixion.
But about the huge amounts of awe. THE SAME AWE SHOULD STILL BE HERE. This is more than awe for a supermoon or awe for a movie or awe for an emotional fictional novel. Or awe for a family member or a spouse. Jesus is still here. God is the same yesterday, today and forever. We should still be filled with awe and amazement and wonder and curiosity, like those crowds in the time when Jesus walked on earth. We should yearn to learn more. God is here. He isn't gone. He hasn't withered under any dust. He is still here to take our breath away.