ECCLESIOLOGICAL ETCHINGS April 2, 2023 Guest Writer: Richard Whyde, CCCC Elder In John 12:12-19 it tells the story about the crowd’s reaction to seeing Jesus entering into Jerusalem.
I heard the teachings of this story in Sunday school when I was a child, and I remember the little plays we used to do. I am reminded of the HOSANNA songs we learned in Sunday school and the ones we sing in service as hymns today.
People heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem and were excited. They brought palm branches and shouted, ”HOSANNA Blessings on the King of Israel!!” Verse 15 says, “Don’t be afraid Daughter Zion. Look! Your king is coming sitting on a donkey’s colt.” This mirrors the prophecy from Zechariah 9:9 that says, “Rejoice greatly, Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
The crowd expected Jesus to come as a “Military hero” King who would deliver them from Rome and provide prosperity for their lives. They were not expecting a servant-king - one who would carry the burden of their sins to protect them from God’s judgment. The same people who praised Jesus with palm branches later turned on him when he wasn’t who THEY wanted him to be.
The Romans did not give their permission for this King of Israel. They saw the crowd’s reaction as disloyal to Rome. Jesus’ entry in Jerusalem solidified the events that would lead to his crucifixion on the cross. Jesus knew exactly what awaited him in Jerusalem, yet he did it anyway knowing that the people he came to save did not understand who he was.
We fall short of knowing who Jesus truly is when we try to make him into OUR kind of Savior. We often twist his words and his teachings to match our own Ideas, yet Jesus is under no obligation to be who we expect him to be. Jesus came to fulfill God’s vision, not ours.
Prayer… Creator God, we often fail to understand that the things we want and the time and ways in which we want them may not be what You want for our lives. Teach us to worship without conditions or limiting expectations, and help us to see Jesus as the Savior You intended him to be. Amen.