They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Blessed is the king of Israel!”
In John’s account of Jesus’ ride into Jerusalem, the crowd shouts the right things about Jesus, but we soon find out that even Jesus’ disciples really “did not understand all this.” They didn’t realize this event was a fulfillment of an Old Testament prophecy (Zechariah 9:9) until after Jesus rose into heaven. The crowd had come out to meet Jesus only because he had raised Lazarus from the dead earlier. And the Pharisees saw Jesus’ popularity as a threat to their own power and position (John 11:47-50; 12:9-11).
It’s easy to think that we would do better. It’s easy to think that we know who Jesus really is. But most longtime followers of Christ would agree that Jesus is a mystery. He is not any easier to get to know than anyone else we might meet. In fact, we wouldn’t be wrong to assume that it would take more effort to know the Son of God than to know anyone else.
And yet we can grow to know Jesus. It takes time and work on our part, and we are not alone. The Spirit of Jesus himself comes into our hearts and teaches us (see John 16:7-15). By the Spirit, John and the other disciples eventually did understand what was going on here. And as we study the Bible as God’s living Word, asking for the Spirit’s guidance, we can grow to know Jesus too. It can take some work, but the Spirit will help us, and there is no better relationship to invest in than our relationship with the King.
Dear Jesus, by your Spirit, help me to learn and grow to know you better and better. Amen.
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