God’s Word revealed for us – The Way, Part XIX

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By John Larkins

In Matthew 20:17, we read an account of a very busy and honored Jesus teaching and performing miracles. He and His 12 bishops-in-training are not far from Jerusalem while interacting with very attentive crowds. The time period probably is around spring of the Year 33.

Jesus abruptly pulls his apostles aside and says, “Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn Him to death and shall deliver Him to the Gentiles to mock and to scourge and to crucify Him, and the third day He shall rise again.” (Luke 20:18-19.)

In our church calendars, many of us will celebrate Jesus’ momentous entry into Jerusalem, but the circumstances will appear to be more favorable to Jesus than so far described. The vast difference between how the ordinary Israelites relate to Jesus and how the corrupt religious leaders perceive Him is very stark.

Jesus instructs two of the disciples to go into a nearby village and find an ass and her colt and untie them and bring them to Jesus. The Master said if anyone asked what they were doing to tell them the Lord had need of them. This sounds odd, but it worked. Luke wrote that this was foretold: “Tell the daughter of Sion, behold, thy King cometh unto thee meek, and sitting on an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.” (2 Kings 9:13)

The crowds were described as a very great multitude that spread garments on the rough cobble stones of the road to make travel smoother for Jesus. The disciples laid garments on the ass for Jesus’s comfort in riding. Some of them cut down tree branches and placed them on the road for smoothness. This use of palm fronds is what gives the celebration its nickname. On pre- coronavirus Palm Sundays, some Churches gave their congregations palm leaves to commemorate the event. Catholics might save them for the next year to burn into ashes for use on Ash Wednesday.

“And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord, Hosanna in the highest. And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, who is this? And the multitude said, ‘This is Jesus, the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.’ Jesus went into the temple and began violently rearranging the money changers tables and interrupting the commercial side of worship. The blind and lame came into the temple, and He cured them. When the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying Hosanna to the son of David, they were sorely displeased.” (Matthew 21: 9-11)

In last week’s installment of The Way, we discussed how Jesus was sent by His Father to convert the entire world, beginning with the Israelites, to The New and Everlasting Covenant. He has trained His Chief Apostle and a team totaling 12 apostles. Yet missing is the awesome power of immense grace that the Son of God as the Son of Man would be given by His Father for dispensing by His Church in order to redeem all humans. You can see that events are concluding!

John Larkins was born in Oklahoma to an U.S. Army family. His education was in the Catholic Church and teaching in the United Methodist Church for 10 years. After 50 years of various positions in federal service at home and in Vietnam, Saudi Arabia and Iraq, John and his wife Carol live in Gadsden. His formal education includes a BS certified for science teaching, an MBA from the University of Missouri and an MPA from Jacksonville State University. For the past 15 years, John evangelized on the street, door-to-door, in tent revivals, and church situations. Contact him at johnlarkins@bellsouth.net.

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