Even though so much had been recorded at this point in the biography of Jesus, the crowds and the disciples still struggled to understand what kind of king Jesus came to be and what he came to save them from. The triumphant entry is one of the more famous passages of scripture and is included in all four gospels. But the truth is, sometimes we still don't understand what kind of king Jesus came to be or what he came to save us from. This passage of scripture deconstructs the political expectations that the nation of Israel had for what kind of king Jesus should have been and reveals what kind of king he actually came to be.
Let it do the same for us.
Read this from the Bible together:
12 The next day, when the large crowd that had come to the festival heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, 13 they took palm branches and went out to meet him. They kept shouting:
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord—the King of Israel!”
14 Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written:
15 Do not be afraid,
Daughter Zion. Look, your King is coming,
sitting on a donkey’s colt.
16 His disciples did not understand these things at first. However, when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written about him and that they had done these things to him.
Some key statements and questions put forward that are important for us to talk about…
They took palm branches and went out to meet him. Pastor Brian explained that palm branches were symbols of nationalistic fervor in Jerusalem. Politically, the people were hoping Jesus came to overthrow the Roman empire. In what ways do you think Christ followers still expect Jesus to overthrow empires instead of bring his new kingdom to earth?
Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it. Jesus came into town on a donkey. Not only was this a prophetic fulfillment of Zechariah 9:9-10, it was also a staggering picture of his humility. What strikes you the most about Jesus' choice to not meet anyone's expectations with a grand entrance? And what does it reveal that he chose to ride in on a common animal instead of a war horse or stallion?
His disciples did not understand these things at first. Jesus eventually explains how all of scripture points to him after he is resurrected and visits his disciples. Do you long for and make space in your daily conversations with Jesus for him to reveal similar things to you through scripture? Share a recent story of how Jesus "connected the dots" of His story with yours.
"Followers of Jesus are synonymously disciples." It is impossible to call yourself a follower of Jesus and not talk about what he has done in your life. How often do you take advantage of conversations with others to glorify Jesus with your story? Do you struggle to see areas of your life where Jesus has done something?
“May there be no need for kings or rocks to cry out any longer." Jesus cried over Jerusalem's failure to see who he was and he said the rocks would cry out over his Messianic identity if the crowds didn't. Jesus will be worshipped as king. Do you think you've increased the cry of worship or the cry of doubt about who Jesus is in your life?
"If this story teaches us anything it is that you can be in the right place at the right time and still be far from God." Does that line ring true for you? In what ways does it stir up gratitude in you? Concern?