Sum up the life of Jesus by any other standard than God’s, and it is an anticlimax of failure.
Perhaps his total number of devoted followers at the end of His earthly ministry numbered little more than the five hundred brethren to whom Jesus appeared after the resurrection (I Cor. 15:6), and only about 120 tarried in Jerusalem to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:15). Though this number is not small considering that His active ministry extended only over a period of three years, yet if at this point one were to measure the effectiveness of his evangelism by the number of his converts, Jesus doubtless would not be considered among the most productive mass evangelists of the church.
Though He did what he could to help the multitudes, He had to devote Himself primarily to a few men, rather than the masses, so that the masses could at last be saved. This was the genius of his strategy.
Jesus did not expect more from his disciples than they could do, but He did expect their best, and this He expected always to be improved as they grew in knowledge and grace. His plan of teaching, by example, assignment, and constant checkup, was calculated to bring out the best that was in them.
Jesus didn’t do it all. Jesus didn’t meet every need. He left people waiting in line to be healed. He left one town to preach to another. He hid away to pray. He got tired. He never interacted with the vast majority of people on the planet. He spent thirty years in training and only three years in ministry. He did not try to do it all. And yet, He did everything God asked Him to do.
[Jesus] was busy, but never in a way that made Him frantic, anxious, irritable, proud, envious, or distracted by lesser things… Jesus knew the difference between urgent and important. He understood that all the good things He could do were not necessarily the things He ought to do.
Jesus did not come to reward the deserving but to serve the needy with reckless abandon.
Jesus produced mainly three effects: hatred, terror, adoration. There was no trace of people expressing mild approval.
Jesus Christ came to blind those who saw clearly, and to give sight to the blind; to heal the sick, and leave the healthy to die; to call to repentance and to justify sinners, and to leave the righteous in their sins; to fill the needy, and leave the rich empty.