How quickly public opinion can change! When Jesus entered Jerusalem for the Passover feast, He was welcomed by crowds cheering to have Him made king (John 12:13). But by the end of the week, the crowds were demanding that He be crucified (19:15).

I recognize myself in those fickle crowds. I love cheering for a team that’s winning, but my interest wanes when they start losing. I love being part of a movement that is new and exciting, but when the energy moves to a new part of town, I’m ready to move on. I love following Jesus when He is doing the impossible, but I slink away when He expects me to do something difficult. It’s exciting to follow Jesus when I can do it as part of the “in” crowd. It’s easy to trust Him when He outsmarts the smart people and outmaneuvers the people in power (see Matt. 12:10; 22:15-46). But when He begins to talk about suffering and sacrifice and death, I hesitate.

I like to think that I would have followed Jesus all the way to the cross—but I have my doubts. After all, if I don’t speak up for Him in places where it’s safe, what makes me think I would do so in a crowd of His opponents?

How thankful I am that Jesus died for fickle followers so that we can become devoted followers.