The reason why the crowd went to meet him was that they heard he had done this sign. So the Pharisees said to one another, “You see that you are gaining nothing. Look, the world has gone after him.” (John 12:18, 19 ESV)
For about three years Jesus had travelled the countryside. He was preaching, performing miracles, and turning the people toward the truth of the Kingdom of God. The sick, demoniacs, outcasts, crippled, and even the dead—all kinds of people were dramatically impacted forever by the ministry of Jesus. As he made his way to Jerusalem, the final destination of his public ministry, his reputation preceded him.
The religious elite didn’t know what to do with him. He operated from an authority they refused to acknowledge, and failed to comprehend. He performed miracles that both baffled and humbled them. Their pride, their wallets, and their power were in trouble.
The reputation of Jesus still precedes him. To the hurting, the outcast, and the needy Jesus is still the answer. Those who hear and comprehend the full measure of his work are irrevocably changed by it. There is no going back. Jesus’ impact on lives initiates a passionate focus for the Kingdom of God that religion cannot contain, mankind cannot fathom, and the forces of hell cannot deter.
It is the reputation of God who became a man by virgin birth. A lowly carpenter who became an authoritative teacher and preacher. A perfectly holy life lived in selflessness. A man who was crucified for the sins of others. A death that was temporary. A resurrection that was real. A reign that is eternal. Jesus’ reputation is reputable, it is rare, it is reality. And it will change your life if you let it.