Saturday, April 16, 2011

Palm Sunday Questions

Two of my neighbors have been reading the Gospel of John with me.  As we pondered and discussed the Palm Sunday narrative from John 12 recently, God challenged me with some questions.

It is a week before Easter.  Jesus is coming to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover, knowing that the Cross awaited him.  How appropriate that he came riding on a donkey, a symbol of peace. 

He was greeted by a large crowd waving Palm branches as he entered the city.  Palm branches convey the message of victory over the enemy.  But the victory they were looking for was a political victory.  They misunderstood.

I wonder how many times I misunderstand the mission of Jesus in my world.  Asking why is evidence of that I often misunderstand.  I don’t get it.  But I think I know why I don’t get it ~ I’m looking at all the circumstances around me and trying to make sense of the puzzle.  I think I don’t get it because I think I know the best way and the best way is not forthcoming.  And I don’t get it because I don’t have the big picture.  I don’t know the end of the story.  So I misunderstand. 

Two exercises have helped me in my misunderstandings.  The first is deciding to trust the Word of God with the circumstances. I often pray, God what is it you want me to pray concerning this circumstance.  I have found this very helpful.   The second is pondering this question, how might God tell this story?

One thing I love about the crowd who came to meet Jesus is when they heard Jesus was coming they dropped everything to be with him. 

It kind of reminds me of Matthew 6:33, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.” ESV.   The questions that come to me are … What do I do to put myself in a place where I hear from Jesus?  I’m learning that one way I hear from Jesus is through the words of others friends who write.  I’m just finishing Howard Baker’s excellent book, The One True Thing .  It is an easy read but full of insights that challenge me in my relationship with God.  A second question that I need to ask myself is Am I willing to drop everything to meet with him?  Sometimes I don’t like the answers to my own questions!

One thing I love about Jesus is that he didn’t set the people straight with his words.   He let his actions do the talking.  Not only is a donkey a symbol of peace, it is also a symbol of humility, righteousness and salvation.  Zechariah 9:9.  Just a few verses later in John 12:45, Jesus says, “whoever sees me sees him who sent me”.

How often I believe my words are necessary.  Hopefully as I live my life with my friends, they will see Jesus.

“And whoever sees me sees him who sent me.”  John 12:45

1 comment:

  1. Oh Sue! I love your second question especially, "How would Jesus tell this story?" Thanks so much for sharing!