"And he spake to his disciples, that a small ship should wait on him because of the multitude, lest they should throng him. For he had healed many; insomuch that they pressed upon him for to touch him, as many as had plagues" (MAR 3:9-10). Jesus was very popular as long as he was healing the flesh of its troubles. Satan had once observed, "Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life" (JOB 2:4). For the sake of health, men will part with most anything (except their sins, usually). So, when the healing of the flesh meant parting with so little (for Christ's salvation was free), why would not the crowds be thronging about Him? However, when the Savior turned His energies towards expounding sound doctrine without compromise, the crowds all but disappeared (JOH 6:26-66). Jesus is popular in the world as long as He is in a manger, hanging on a stick, promoting a sale or festival; as long as He heals the flesh or feeds it, as long He enriches or entertains or empowers men. But should He have the nerve to provide no benefit to men except the naked truth of His gospel, or to upbraid men for their sins with His gospel, His popularity plummets. Some will say, "But if we don't supply the loaves, fishes, miracles, festivals, etc., fewer people are likely ever to be disciples of Jesus." Note: those whose attendance to Jesus is because of some carnal benefit they might derive from Him are not the kind of disciples whom Jesus seeks and they will be gone as soon as the party is over, anyway. But those whose attendance to Jesus is because they know He only is their hope of deliverance from sin and they will have Him on His terms even if all He offers them is His unembellished truth, those are the disciples He seeks. Even though He may discourage them as if to drive them away, their answer is, "Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life" (JOH 6:67-68). Why are you following Jesus?