John 12, 12-16
Something to read
On the next day much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord. And Jesus, when he had found a young ass, sat thereon; as it is written, Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass's colt. These things understood not his disciples at the first: but when Jesus was glorified, then remembered they that these things were written of him, and that they had done these things unto him.
King James Version
The next day the great crowd that had come to the festival heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. 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!' Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it; as it is written: 'Do not be afraid, daughter of Zion. Look, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt!' His disciples did not understand these things at first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written of him and had been done to him
New Revised Standard Version
Something to think about
In many respects a triumphal entry seems to be both an inadequate description and conversely an over-the-top analysis of Jesus' arrival in Jerusalem. Here was the miracle worker, the man who had just raised Lazarus from the dead, receiving the praise He was due. But riding in on the back of a donkey seems so very disappointing.
There would have been little glamour to it. This was no dignified regal procession that we see today accompanying heads of state and dignitaries, just a man on a donkey being greeted with palm branches. But then is this not true of Jesus' entire life, subverting the expected and challenging the presumptions?
Here is the King, but not as you expected. Even today we can be guilty of 'knowing' all about Jesus when the truth is we are just at the beginning of our relationship with Him, one that will last for eternity. Take a moment to reflect on what you know about Jesus, and how much more you have to learn.
Something to do
The disciples we are told did not understand these things at first, it was Jesus being glorified that seems to have been the trigger. Pick a part of scripture that you feel particularly familiar with and well versed in and read it anew in light of Jesus' glory. What stands out afresh, if anything, and what still has the capacity to baffle?
Something to pray
The glory of You is my heart's desire. Thank you for the blessing I receive as a child of God. You are the King of Israel, the King of the world. Your Name is above all other Names, and none can compare to Your greatness. Teach me wisdom Lord to recognise Your glory in all areas of my life, in the dark corners of my soul and the brightly lit centre of my existence.
In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Today's contributor is Russell Winfield, a minister training at Westminster College, Cambridge.