54 Therefore Jesus no longer moved about publicly among the Jews. Instead he withdrew to a region near the desert, to a village called Ephraim, where he stayed with his disciples. 55 When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, many went up from the country to Jerusalem for their ceremonial cleansing before the Passover. 56 They kept looking for Jesus, and as they stood in the temple area they asked one another, “What do you think? Isn’t he coming to the Feast at all?” 57 But the chief priests and Pharisees had given orders that if anyone found out where Jesus was, he should report it so that they might arrest him. (John 11:54-57 NIV)
After Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, the chief priests and the Pharisees decided He must be stopped. They began to plot out a plan to kill Jesus. Jesus removed Himself from the masses of people and found quiet at the edge of the desert, at a place called Ephraim.
The time for Passover was quickly approaching. It was one of the three times a year when all Jews went to Jerusalem to worship. As the crowds in Jerusalem grew the talk began. John tells us, “They kept looking for Jesus.” They asked one another, “What do you think? Isn’t he coming to the Feast at all?” John doesn’t give us any details about the emotions or attitudes of behind those questions. We don’t know if those asking the questions were looking for Jesus in anticipation, if they were anxious to see Him, or if they were looking for Him to arrest Him. All we know is that there was lots of talk swirling among the crowd about Jesus. The truth of the matter is that there were both those who adored Jesus as well as those who were agitated and angry with Jesus present.
There were those who had heard Jesus teach and they hung on His every word. There were those present who had seen Him heal the sick and raise Lazarus back to life and their hearts longed to see Him again. At the same time there were those in the crowd who had heard and seen the exact same things and yet they were repulsed by Jesus, they couldn’t wait to be rid of Him.
And so it is with us. You and I are never going to please all of the people all of the time. If the masses were divided about Jesus what would ever lead us to believe that they will all fall head over heels in love with us? If we are living for the applause of people we will always be disappointed and we will always disappoint some. We are called to live for an audience of One. I want to make it my goal today to live so that the Lord will be pleased with me at the end of the day.