September 4, 2019
They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Hosanna in the highest!”
At first glance, the response of the crowd seems genuine and admirable. When we read this story in Luke 19, the people spread their garments in front of Jesus; a sign of adoration and respect. In John 12, we are told that the people met Christ waving palm branches, a sign of victorious celebration. Matthew tells us that they were shouting a song of thanksgiving and deliverance taken from Psalm 118: Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD. But even in their shouts of praise, we see that the multitude had a problem with Christ’s purpose.
For years the Jews had lived under the oppression of the Roman Empire. They remembered in their history the time when Moses delivered Israel from Egypt, and now they were ready for another deliverer. They desired Christ to be a military leader who would give them victory over Rome and establish their independence. However, they would soon learn that Christ did not come for their purposes. They wanted a physical kingdom; Christ came to establish a spiritual one. They desired freedom from the oppression of Rome; Christ came to free them from the oppression of sin. They wanted an independent standing as a nation; Christ came to give them an individual standing before God. Their unmet expectations quickly turned to disappointment.
Just as the multitude had a problem with Christ’s purpose, so do people today. Many want a relationship with Jesus so He can fix their circumstances, but Jesus rides into our hearts to stay. He is more intent on changing us than changing our circumstances.
Father, help me desire to make Your dreams my dreams and Your expectations my expectations. Help me submit to the leadership of Your Son. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Today on The Journey Broadcast: