When the crowd got too large, Jesus would inevitably sharpen the blade of his teaching. He would make it clearer that there was a dramatic cost to discipleship. It was almost as if he were saying the size of this crowd suggests that you haven’t heard me plainly enough or some of you wouldn’t be here; so let me give it to you another way. And when he finished restating his message, many would then leave because they finally understood that no one can remain in the presence of Christ and be merely a very nice person.” (Gordon MacDonald)