The Wednesday feature of the Worldly Saints blog is a Scriptural meditation whereby I take a verse or passage I have been pondering lately and seek to edify my readers with it’s promises, encouragements, warnings, rebukes, etc.
It was Monday of the Passion Week, which is the last week of the life of Christ on earth. John 12:12- records the very last time Jesus would enter Jerusalem; we call it the Triumphal Entry. Jesus rode into town on a donkey; He was surrounded by people waving palm branches. Here is how John records he events:
“12 The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. 13 So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, ‘Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!’ 14 And Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written, ‘Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt!’
“16 His disciples did not understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written about him and had been done to him. 17 The crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to bear witness. 18 The reason why the crowd went to meet him was that they heard he had done this sign. 19 So the Pharisees said to one another, “You see that you are gaining nothing. Look, the world has gone after him.”
Remember there is a great multitude in Jerusalem at this time for the Passover Feast. Jewish historians tell us it is likely the city of Jerusalem had about 2.7 million people on this particular Passover. And many of these people were waving palm branches. By waving a palm branch, you helped symbolize the hope of a Messianic liberator or just paying homage to a king. It was the poor, ordinary’s man way of acknowledging royalty has entered the city or area. And yet, Jesus came to Jerusalem on a common ordinary donkey, which shouldn’t have grabbed any royal attention. By this act of riding in on a donkey and fulfilling Zechariah 9 and Psalm 118, Jesus was demonstrating He was the Messiah, but a Messiah without a military or political agenda. He was riding a more humble road leading eventually to the cross.
In the Triumphal Entry, there were people who were confused – like the disciples (vs. 16). There were some who were upset He had come – like the Pharisees (vs. 19). There were some who praised and blessed His name – like the “palm branch wavers” (vs. 13).
It seems to me like this is an indicative sampling of responses people always have about Jesus.
When some people hear the name of Jesus, they get angry. They grow hostile. They think of Him and His Father as cruel, not serving man’s agenda, allow “good people” to suffer, etc. They don’t like His call to Lordship or obedience.
When some people hear the name of Jesus, they are just confused. They don’t have all the facts. They have a sense of the afterlife, but don’t know how to get there. They like doing good things, but don’t know if that really matters.
When some people hear the name of Jesus, they respond in worship. Their thoughts go to the cross. They open their lips to praise His name. They get on their knees to petition Him.
What response towards do you identify with: ignorance, anger or worship?