This Sunday we’ll be reading Luke 19:28-44.
It is the description of the event we have come to call “The Triumphal Entry”, where Jesus makes his entrance into Jerusalem amidst the cheering crowds. The terminology of triumphal entry isn’t in the text, but it’s borrowed from the triumphal marches of emperors and kings when they enter a territory they have conquered.
As you read the text, how does the description of Jesus’ entrance compare to the way you’d imagine a conquering king entering a city? What contrasts do you see, and how do they inform your understanding of the nature of God’s kingdom at work in this world?
Everyone there was excited, because they were expecting the onset of a political revolt against Rome. In fact, the scene is so similar to one recorded in 2 Maccabees 2 after Judas Maccabeus liberated Jerusalem from Greek control. You can read about it here (and take note of v7 for the similarity). Unfortunately, they totally misunderstood what Jesus was actually doing in establishing His kingdom. Jesus came to die on a cross, the people were waiting for Him to take up a sword.
In fact, it was probably for fear of sudden uprising and the reprisals it would bring from Rome that prompted the Pharisees to get Jesus to stop the celebration. What do you make of Jesus’ response to them in v 40, that if “these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”? Is he saying that the created order will take our place in praising God if we cease? Or is this a reference to Mick Jagger? OR, given the tensions and potential for revolt…is he saying something else? Think about it for a while, in context.
Jesus weeps over the city because they missed the very Messiah they had been waiting for for so long. Why did they miss God’s peace and the time of their visitation? What do you think kept them from it…and how does that challenge us in our desire to find God’s peace and wholeness?
Hope to see you Sunday!