Talk the Talk; Walk the Walk

March 16th, 2008 • Category: Lent, Holy Week, and Easter
by Ben Lamb

Today’s scripture: Mark 11:1-11; John 12:12-19 (ESV-text and audio) (NRSV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (Ben Lamb):

We love a parade!When I was a child, Palm Sunday was usually presented to me as Jesus riding sidesaddle on a totally cooperative donkey into Jerusalem on a sunny morning while throngs of freshly-scrubbed children ceremoniously waved palm branches in front of him in a gentle Busby-Berkley-style dance routine. Beautiful women danced in unison with tambourines held high in the air, and bright-eyed men cast down their extra cloaks of sumptuously woven material — that they just happened to have with them — in perfect overlapping sequence for the donkey to gingerly tread upon with a precision that would put any Clydesdale to shame. The look on Jesus’ face was one of total serenity and calmness as if to say, “Bless you, my children. I humbly accept your rightful adoration.”

But after reading for myself (finally) the four Gospels’ telling of the event, I see a different picture.

The disciples exercised remarkable faith. Would I walk up to someone else’s donkey and start to take it away from its tethered spot? Not likely. But, God had already made arrangements beforehand for everything to work out. Do I exercise that much faith? Jesus also makes sure the colt will be returned (Mark 11:3). Am I as thoughtful when I have major issues on my mind? Admittedly, I often fall short on both questions.

Even though Jesus’ disciples did not understand the impact of these events until after his resurrection (John 12:16), I’m amazed that none of them took the time to simply ask him, “Jesus what’s going on, and what does this mean?” Come on now, who else but Jesus could have answered it better? But do we still hesitate to come to Jesus for answers sometimes today, too? Why?

One passage suggests Jesus timed his entry into Jerusalem for everyone to have a chance to come to him, including the working class who had spent their days in the fields. Mark 11: 8 and 11 includes “. . .and others spread leafy branches that they had cut in the fields. . . . Then he entered Jerusalem and. . . it was late.” I think that is so Jesus-like: thinking of everyone else in spite of what lay ahead in order to give everyone a chance to get to know him.

Thought for the day: Jesus, thank you for what you’ve done for me. May I be a witness for you in whatever way you want me to be.

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

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"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
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