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John 12:12-19 – The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord,
even the King of Israel!” And Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written,
“Fear not, daughter of Zion;
behold, 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 about him and had been done to him. The crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and
raised him from the dead continued to bear witness. The reason why the crowd went to meet him was that they heard he had done this sign. So the Pharisees said to one another, “You see that you are gaining nothing. Look, the world has gone after him.”
Jesus entered Jerusalem as a “rock-star". In modern times, He would have come into the city signing autographs and conducting interviews, all the while surrounded by paparazzi. John points out that the reason for this sudden explosion of popularity was because of Lazarus, and that makes sense. When a person can raise someone from the dead, that’s bound to make headlines!
For years, I have heard sermons and read devotions on this passage, and the vast majority point to the fickleness of the crowd. “The same crowd who cheered Jesus as He entered the city were shouting ‘Crucify Him’ the next day.” I’m sure there is some truth to that, but there is something bigger happening here than a fickle crowd. Jesus is being Worshipped – and rightfully so!
Remember, Jesus had been moving to this moment since the day He arrived in Bethlehem. Every miracle; every sermon; every confrontation; every decision – they have all led to this. Jesus came to earth to be crucified for the sins of the world.
Paul wrote in Philippians that Jesus; “Did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Notice, Paul says that Jesus is worthy of Worship, and WILL be Worshipped – not just in the future, but today. And so, as He entered Jerusalem, the crowds worshipped their king. They did not understand what was happening, but they recognized that something big was going on. And they worshipped.
Luke adds this detail: “And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”
Jesus is worthy of our praise. Bow before Him today. Submit to Him today. Praise Him today. He is good. And He is God.