Weekly Devotional

Celebrate the King!

Follow Jesus’ model of humility, purposefulness and courage.

Written by Stephen G. Brown on 03/04/2023

The next day, when the large crowds that had come to the festival heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, they took palm branches and went out to meet Him. They kept shouting: ‘Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord – the King of Israel!’

John 12:12-13

Palm Sunday was, and still is, a celebration fit for a King! 

The beauty of this celebratory scene as captured in all the Gospels, reveals the passion of those seekers; those eagerly awaiting a revolutionary, government overturning, political messiah. Then, in comes Jesus, not on a chariot but saddling a donkey. Based upon the rumors and witnesses, there was considerable interest in who He was, why He was present, and what His objectives may be. 

Now before we focus too closely on this celebratory reception for this king, let’s pan out to examine the full context. 

A Chaotic Celebration

We discover that everyone in the crowd didn’t understand the celebration, nor did everyone in the crowd come to celebrate. We discover in the preceding verses that based upon Jesus’ miraculous resurrection of His friend Lazarus, arrest warrants have been issued for Jesus and Lazarus. Those bounty hunters were in the crowd. (John 11:45-53 & John 12:1-11)

The first crowd wanted a king, but not a Savior! They sought political deliverance, based upon their current bondage. But they overlooked the bondage of their hearts.

The second crowd wanted a miracle-worker, but not a Savior. They wanted signs and wonders, but no Savior. Miracles lead to belief, but rarely sustain belief. 

The third crowd wanted a dead man, but not a Savior. They (Pharisees) came to kill, not to celebrate. Jesus was stealing their influence and their attention. 

Crowds. Mob Mentality. It was a chaotic celebration.

A Faithful King

The crowd was confused, even Jesus’ own disciples (Jn. 12:16), and yet, with this tension surrounding Him, and the Cross before Him, Jesus enters Jerusalem riding a donkey. 

Jesus came in Humility. He kept His prophetic markers by finding the donkey to sit upon. This donkey symbolized His complete submission to the will of the Father. Jesus surrendered His status, fame, and affluence for the Kingdom.

Jesus came with Purposefulness. Despite all that He knew about the Chaotic Crowd and Celebration, His purpose had to be fulfilled. He had to go to Jerusalem! He had to experience this Triumphal Entry. This was His path towards DEATH and DELIVERANCE for the World. Jesus came to DIE! That’s PURPOSEFULNESS!

Jesus came with Courage. There is no passivity in Christ! He courageously accepted His plight, because He understood the costs! He willfully and courageously journeyed through that crowd, knowing some wanted His life. That’s courage…

Pray this week:

In keeping Jesus’ model of Humility, Purposefulness, and Courage, what areas do you need to address in this season of your life? We’re all at a crossroad! We must face our opportunities and challenges as Jesus did. 

Father, grant me courage to face and to endure the challenges and trials that I face. Empower me to fulfill Your will. Give me focus. May I not be distracted by the crowds, but may I focus upon the Savior. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

Are you excited about the calling and purpose God has for you? Or did today’s reflection reveal some dissatisfaction in God’s purpose, like the Palm Sunday Crowd’s disappointment with Jesus?

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