“Crowdsourcing” is a popular social media practice. Someone posts a question to the unseen mass of people out there and asks for responses. The questioner is usually hoping for interesting information, informed opinions, lively stories, trusted recommendations, or a firm consensus. Sometimes responses from crowdsourcing make it into a sermon or an article; sometimes the results determine which plumber to call.
Relying too heavily on crowd feedback, however, can be problematic. Seeking consensus among a flood of diverse opinions can make someone sorry they asked the question. Even large group that share similar views can be detrimental depending on the circumstance.
Luke reminds us how detrimental crowdsourcing can be. Jesus is brought to Pilate on charges of upsetting the status quo, shaking the norms of society, and offering people a new way of life. This crowd was told false statements about Christ by those who didn’t believe or understand him. The rumors spread rapidly, and now a large number have gathered to end Jesus’ life. Pilate frustrates them when he says, I find no basis for an accusation against this man (v. 4). The crowd keeps voicing their negative opinions, pressing their harmful agenda.
The large crowd appears powerful and poised to win the day. But the true power has yet to be seen. It lies in the humble sacrifice of Jesus, who has decided to die at the hands of a sinful humanity. The seeming power of the crowd is momentary. The true power of God’s undying love for creation changes the world. When you find yourself absorbed by the confusion of the day, weighed down by people, situations, or circumstances, remember that God has the final say. The power is not in the crowd, but in the One who saves us.
What voices make it difficult for you to hear God’s truth in a given situation?
God, help us to trust you even when the crowd tries to distract us from your truth. Remind us that true power comes solely from you. Amen.