In a post by Alan Knox, he asks the question, “Was there A Megachurch in Jerusalem?” He also states:
“There is an assumption that the followers of Jesus gathered together as a large group in the temple for “preaching and worship” (think Sunday morning worship service) while they gathered in their homes for fellowship (think Sunday School or Bible study). However, the grammar of this verse does not lend to this kind of distinction.”
I agree with Alan that these passages can not be used to support a regularly scheduled meeting for the purposes of preaching and worship. But, it did get me thinking about something else:
What caused the 3000 and then subsequent 5000 to gather in the first place? Let’s look at the text:
“When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. Utterly amazed, they asked: “Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans?” Acts 2:6,7
Let’s remember that they were in the upper room. There is no indication that this upper room was near the temple where there might have been numerous people. It was a flash mob! It was spontaneous. A commotion occurred, and people came to see what it was. That must have been some loud sound. It was quite a ruckus. It was after the crowd gathered that Peter began to preach and 3000 souls were added to the Kingdom.
Let’s move on the 5000.
“Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. When all the people saw him walking and praising God, they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.” Acts 3:9,10
This scene depicts the healing of a lame man and his entrance into the temple gate with Apostles Peter and John. Again we see a commotion and a flash mob. Of course this time the mob was comprised of those near the Temple gate. And again, once the crowd was formed Peter preached his infamous “Second Sermon,” which saw 5000 souls added to the Kingdom.
With these things in mind, here are a few questions:
1. Is it ok for Christians to cause a commotion so that mass evangelism can happen? What about evangelistic campaigns?
2. In both cases, miracles brought the crowds. Should we demonstrate the Gospel and the Lord’s power before preaching?
3. In reality, what can we apply concerning preaching to crowds from these two examples?
Bonus Question: Isn’t social media dependent on the flash mob mentality? The bigger the crowd, the larger the commotion, the more of an impact you can make. Right?