11 August 2017John 12:12-19
“So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, shouting, ‘Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord—the King of Israel!’” (v. 13)
Psalm: Psalm 55:1-8
This is the Palm Sunday story: Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey while multitudes cheer him on, waving palm branches as they do so (verses 12-15).
It is interesting to note that although Jesus had that special group of 12 disciples, the real reason for the increase in numbers coming out to see him this time round was that people who had witnessed him raising Lazarus from the dead had not stopped talking about him (verses 17-18). At the end of the day, no matter how many famous or prominent Christian leaders there are, people are more likely to respond to the gospel message when they hear it - or see it in action - from regular folk whom they know well.
The disciples don't come off too well in this passage. Even though they have spent time with Jesus and heard him speak over and over, they did not fully understand the significance of what was going on around them until much later (verse 16).
The Pharisees, meanwhile, were becoming more incensed by Jesus' increasing popularity, and more entrenched in their belief that he must be stopped (verse 19).
- Have you ever been involved in a historic event? If so, how did it feel being part of something special?
- Why do you think it took the disciples so long to understand the things that were happening?