The way to engage a crowd as Jesus did is to love each member of it, individually and unconditionally – with the offer of complete forgiveness for those who can’t handle that. Even if one of them throws a bottle of Fanta ‘on stage’ mid-crucifixion and then scurries off in apparent shame; or if another, possibly disturbed by a phrase that comes too close to home, starts shouting at you for being ‘an angry person.’ Look them in their faces, each face, with as much love as you can download from God. Never remonstrate, or criticise or judge, even by implication. Love them all, each and every one: those who stay and watch, or those who simply ‘pass by on the other side’. Love the children, the elderly, the lame, the blind, the gay, the straight. And yes, let your Jesus love each of the characters in the story. Even the Pharisees. Even ‘your’ killers. And very soon you’ll notice that your audience can’t keep your eyes off you, don’t want to you to stop, are clinging on to each and every word. Because for a couple of hours of a Saturday afternoon on Watford High Street they believe the almost unbelievable: that they are acceptable to God – just because they are.
Should have realised of course. Jesus is Love. No wonder.