Luke 19: 28 – 40
After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it.’”
Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them. As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?” They replied, “The Lord needs it.”
They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road. When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen: “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!” “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”
And so the die is cast. Jesus has made it to Jerusalem. Using prophetic sight to obtain the donkey colt, he makes his way into Jerusalem while being celebrated by the whole crowd of his disciples. They are caught up in Messianic fervour celebrating him as the king who comes in the name of the Lord and praising God with every breath.
This of course is politically dangerous as he is not recognized by the temple authorities and the Sanhedrin, nor by the Roman occupiers, and neither take well to someone coming in claiming to be something. When some Pharisees rather sensibly ask him to get his disciples to stop it before they cause a problem, he simply says in effect that the Messiah is arriving in Jerusalem – that heaven and earth are witness to the fact and jubilant. Imagine being Jesus in that moment, celebrating with his disciples and yet knowing what lays in store for him, for them and for all of Jerusalem. We trust you dear Abba to only reveal to us what we can handle and to give us the grace to go through whatever you are taking us through. Amen.
Noon Day Prayers Question
Imagine yourself in the crowd of disciples as Jesus is entering Jerusalem. Feel the exultant joy, the jubilation of the disciples so overcome with emotion that their teacher/healer/prophet was making his triumphant entrance! See the Pharisees concerned about the entrance he is making. What do you think? How are you feeling?
Luke 19: 41 – 48
As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace – but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.”
When Jesus entered the temple courts, he began to drive out those who were selling. “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be a house of prayer’; but you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’” Every day he was teaching at the temple. But the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the leaders among the people were trying to kill him. Yet they could not find any way to do it, because all the people hung on his words.
As the last prophet to come into Jerusalem, he weeps over it because they have failed to recognize their salvation in his arrival. He knows that they will pay the price for this. In fact when this gospel was written most likely Jerusalem already had been destroyed. So he strides into the temple and drives out those making money off the pilgrims coming to offer sacrifice. They were charging what the market would bear, often beyond what ordinary folk could afford, all with the blessing of the temple authorities. You can imagine how they felt about him taking over and driving out their merchants. But, Jesus always did draw crowds so there was no way for them to get to him. The clock is ticking down now to his paschal sacrifice, the lamb of God being sacrificed at Passover for the sins of the people.
What is it that you (will) require of us dear Abba? Will we be able to carry through? We trust your Spirit to give us the strength and guidance we need. Amen.