I’ve always thought and said out loud, that I would rather have our kids, and now grandkids, have the desire to love us and be with us out of pure love for who we are, not for what we do for them for the latter reason leads to an obligatory relationship, and that is “second best”. Second best means they come out of obligation, feeling the must to appease you for what they feel they “owe” you. Yuck. I would rather they not come at all.
God is like that. What He wants is for us to simply love Him back…because He first loved us, as the Scriptures say. He wants to have a pure, loving relationship that does not rely on WHAT He has done for us, even though it is more than we can imagine, but WHO He is to us, our loving, patience Father who wants us to come over to His house and worship Him with others out of love not obligation or ritual. He wants us to talk and walk with him every hour of every day because of our love for Him and our desire to be with Him.
These thoughts flood my mind as we read the next passage of praises of a fickle crowd who are impressed by what Jesus has done versus their love for this popular prophet. This is the same crowd that watched Him raise a man from the dead. This same crowd will later be the ones who yell, “Crucify Him” when their heads are turned in another direction by the leaders. Mm. Obligation or Pure Love for the Savior? What is our motivation for following Jesus?
John 12, The Message
See How Your King Comes
12-15 The next day the huge crowd that had arrived for the Feast heard that Jesus was entering Jerusalem. They broke off palm branches and went out to meet him. And they cheered:
Blessed is he who comes in God’s name!
Yes! The King of Israel!
Jesus got a young donkey and rode it, just as the Scripture has it:
No fear, Daughter Zion:
See how your king comes,
riding a donkey’s colt.
16 The disciples didn’t notice the fulfillment of many Scriptures at the time, but after Jesus was glorified, they remembered that what was written about him matched what was done to him.
17-19 The crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus from the tomb, raising him from the dead, was there giving eyewitness accounts. It was because they had spread the word of this latest God-sign that the crowd swelled to a welcoming parade. The Pharisees took one look and threw up their hands: “It’s out of control. The world’s in a stampede after him.”
Prophecy is fulfilled. He IS who is says He is and deserved praise for WHO He is but it was more for WHAT He did. Compare that to the loving demonstration of praise, worship and devotion in the previous passage by Mary who quietly came into the room, broke open her expensive perfume for possibly her own burial, and poured it over her Master’s feet. This is pure love.
Again, what is our motivation for following Christ? Why do we praise Him?
Dear Heavenly Father, You watched as a fickle crowd, whose minds were easily changed, praise Your Son. I bet it broke Your heart, knowing what was going to happen next. Lord, I repent of those times I break your heart with an insincere, fickle heart that gets too busy sometimes to focus on how much I really love You and adore You for WHO you are more that what You have done for us. I am grateful. I love You back with all my heart, mind and soul. Thank You for Your unconditional love for us.
Continue to be with us. In Jesus Name, Amen. I believe.