Palm Sunday celebrates Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem. Upon Jesus’ arrival he was received with many different people welcoming him in different ways. One thing everyone had it common was they were unable or unwilling to see what Jesus was really doing. They were blinded by their own hopes, assumptions, expectations and plans.
The Crowd: Misunderstood Jesus (John 12:12-13)
When Jesus entered the town people celebrated and honored Jesus! They declared him king of Israel and gladly welcomed him! However, the crowd misunderstood Jesus. The crowd assumed and expected Jesus to be their military messiah…the one who would save them from their political oppression. Jesus did come as the messiah and did come to save…but he came to serve and to be sacrificed to save us from our sins not raise up an army to overthrow the government. The crowd had their messiah but he was not the messiah they were expecting! This misunderstanding led to the crowd shouting “Crucify” instead of “Hosanna” just a short time later. Many times we become blinded by our own assumptions, hopes and expectations. May we pray, “Open our eyes to see Jesus as He is and not as I want Him to be”.
The Disciples: Didn’t Understand Jesus (John 12:14-16)
As Jesus rode into town scriptures tells us that his disciples didn’t understand why all this was happening. In Luke 19:28-31 we get a more detailed account of what Jesus asked of his disciples. It was obvious that his disciples were confused. “Why do we have to go find a donkey?” “Why does it have to be one that has never been ridden?” “Why do we have to be the ones to go get it for you?” “Why do you have to come into town like this?” “Why…why…why?” We make the false assumption that upon becoming Christian we all of a sudden know everything. That’s just not the case! But there does come a point when we do get IT…and so did the disciples. The disciples had their “Ah-ha” moment, scripture says, after Jesus was glorified. So AFTER everything happened and Jesus was glorified THEN they understood. It’s much easier for us to gain understand afterwards rather than before. The disciples were blinding by their lack of understanding and in some ways their lack of faith. We need to be ok not knowing everything…but trusting in God and having faith! May our prayer be, “Give us the eyes to see what Jesus is doing and faith in what we cannot see”.
The Pharisees: Didn’t Believe Jesus (John 12:17-19)
Ignorance is bliss (just read this story: click here). It is easier to ignore or deny reality than it is to adjust to reality. The pharisees had two choices: 1) to accept that Jesus is the Son of God and therefore change and adjust their traditions, beliefs, teachings, etc… or 2) deny that Jesus is the Son of God and remove him as a threat. We know the story…they chose to deny Jesus and plot to arrest and ultimately kill him. Many times it’s not that we don’t believe but rather we don’t want to believe. We don’t want to face reality; we don’t want to change. The pharisees were blinded by their own wants and desires and were unwilling to change. My our prayer be, “Give us the eyes to see reality”.
For further reading and study: Read 2 Kings 6 and pray for your eyes to be opened like Elisha and his servant!
Sermon Notes from Brian Haas
Adventure Sunday Nights
Series: “Palm Sunday”
April 13, 2014