What brings us to a large event? Word of mouth? Extreme promotions? Curiosity? “Seeing is believing”, most people say, so they come. Today we pay money to hear, see and experience what the masses say we should. We are all like sheep who follow whatever or whomever is in front of us telling us what tickles our ears and entices us to follow.
In our small passage to day the masses have come for several reasons. Some people came who had witnessed the raising of Lazarus and are telling everyone about this miracle performed by Jesus. Some are coming to Jerusalem as a pilgrimage to celebrate Jewish customs and heritage. Then the last group gathering are the religious leaders who were greatly concerned about what Jesus might do at the feast (John 12:19). At each of the different feasts, the people were in keen expectation, wondering if Jesus would be there and what He would do. It looked as though Jesus was actually seeking to incite a revolution and establish Himself as king, but that was not what He had in mind. Most in the crowds don’t know heart of Jesus. They don’t know why He came. Most don’t know Who He really is. They only follow because of what they have seen the Son of Man do, fear what He might do along with curiosity. Seeing is believing after all, so the masses come to see the One who did the miracle.
Even Jesus beloved disciples didn’t notice all the implications going on at the time. Everything Jesus said and did fulfill the Scriptures written centuries before, the words of God’s prophets. They didn’t realize, yet, that Jesus was doing the will of the Father in every detail.
Jerusalem was noisy and lively with many Jewish people coming from the surrounding towns to celebrate The Feast leading to the Passover. John’s gospel account shifts the scene from a quiet dinner in Bethany to a noisy public parade in Jerusalem. This was the only “public demonstration” that our Lord allowed while He was ministering on earth. His purpose was to fulfill the Old Testament prophecy (Zech. 9:9). The result was a growing animosity on the part of the religious leaders, leading eventually to the crucifixion of the Savior.
John 12:12-19, 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.”
WHAT DO WE LEARN?
The resurrection of Lazarus miracle brought the masses to see Jesus. To them believing was seeing.
The crowds praise Jesus with the words of Scripture, “Blessed is he who comes in God’s Name!”
The Pharisees’ anger grows as the words of evil come from their lips, “Its out of control. The world’s in a stampede after him.”
God is in control at all times. Jesus is doing exactly what the Father directs Him to do.
“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.”
We won’t get or understand all that is happening in and to us, around us, and through us until the end. But this one thing we are assured, God is in control. Jesus has defeated death. All who believe will be saved.
Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord!
Thank you for teaching us your wisdom through this small portion of Your Word. We will read later how the fickle masses turn their praises to jeering in a few days. Oh Lord, what you went through to save us breaks our hearts and at the same time fills our souls with joy and thanksgiving. We don’t have to physically see You to believe in what you have done for us. We know in our heart of hearts that you are real. You are real to my heart, mind and soul. Thank you for loving me that way you do. Help me to love others like you love and forgave me.
In Jesus Name, Amen. I believe.