My Daily Journal:
A large crowd had made its way to Jerusalem for celebration of the passover. They had begun arriving the week before. 5 days before Jesus had been all the buzz and a large crowd had gone out to find him at the dinner at Lazarus’ house. This was when Mary had anointed Jesus with the perfume. 4 days before Jesus had ridden into Jerusalem to the cheers of the crowd. Hosanna! Blessed is the King of Israel. Tonight they show up as an armed mob with torches and clubs and betrayal and hatred on their lips. Tomorrow they will be screaming for his execution in the most brutal and demeaning manner possible.
What did Jesus do in less than 4 days time that went from triumphant and joyful arrival to rejection and hatred of him? It isn’t what He did that was the problem. It is what He didn’t do. He didn’t change who He was to become who they wanted him to be.
God is immutable. Unlike the crowd and popular opinion, He doesn’t change; never has, never will, and we humans get frustrated by that. Why doesn’t God…? How can God….? That… may have been true back then but we know….
Our challenge today is the same challenge of that day. All too often the basis of our perception of God is in what we think or what we have been told rather than what the bible actually says. According to a 2013 research study by the Barna Group, more Americans had read Twilight, the Hunger Games and 50 Shades of Grey than had read the bible cover to cover. Of those who do read the bible only 26% read it regularly with 57% touching it less than 4 times per year. Yet, we have no limit to our opinions about who God is and how He should behave and what He would or should say!
Beware of crowds. Beware of the “wisdom of our age”. Beware of popular opinion. Beware of your own strength and your own opinion. There is only one place in which to place your trust, one source that will last beyond both earth and heaven because it is true and unchanging: the word of our Lord.
We are quickly approaching the end of our study of Matthew – what will you do this summer to not fall into temptation?
battle between the large crowd with sword and clubs and the handful of apostles
Jesus had outlined what would happen – He was in control, but Peter was in denial of that control over the situation
mostly in the form of worry and stress. They don’t yield results but submitting to God does
betrayed with a kiss, captured with swords and clubs, deserted by apostles
attackers drew back and fell to the ground
let these men go, I have not lost one of those you gave me, healed the man’s ear
shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?