Christ had crowds following him from the beginning of his ministry. However, he called the disciples not from within that crowd. He went to the beach, and called a bunch of fishermen, working on their boats.
Not from the crowd pressing him, but from those who had chosen instead to work, and provide for their families. Not from those who thought they were righteous, but men who knew they were sinful.
On one occasion, while the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret, 2 and he saw two boats by the lake, but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. 3 Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat. 4 And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” 5 And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” 6 And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking. 7 They signalled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. 8 But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” 9 For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken, 10 and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” 11 And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him.Luke 5:1-11, ESV
All too often we take as a metric of our success the crowd. Christ did not need that reassurance. Far too often we alter our message to appeal to what we think the crowd wants.
But the crowd wants the word of God. It is living, active. And God calls from those who hear, by his grace, some to be disciples. It is far better to measure success by disciples than sermon tasters, or the approval of the woke.
For the woke, like the Pharisees, did not darken the door where Christ was, and asked him to leave, for they thought they were righteous.
We should not be like them. Be like Peter. Know you have sinned, and seek Christ.