Don’t Join the Crowd

Don’t Join the Crowd

John 12:12-19

James C. Denison

“March Madness” has consumed the nation. When our study group left for Greece, the NCAA basketball tournament had started. When we returned, it was still going on. 64 teams began; 63 will end their season with a loss. They will learn the difference between a friend and a fan–a friend is there when we lose. A fan changes the channel.

We’ve seen Jesus with his Father and with his friends. Now let’s watch his fans, the crowds who gathered on this first Palm Sunday. And let’s learn why we must not join them, at the peril of our lives and souls.

What fans wanted God to do

By most historical reckonings, it was Sunday, April 12, in the year AD 29 when Jesus of Nazareth rode a donkey into Jerusalem.

A “great” crowd of Jews has come from all over the world for the Passover Feast; some ancient historians number them at more than two million.

Now they have “heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem.” They have heard the stories–how he healed the man born blind, and the leper and the paralytic, and raised Lazarus from the dead. For generations they have been taught to pray for their Messiah, the Promised One of God who would liberate his people from their cursed oppressors and establish their nation on earth. Now they believe that their prayers have been answered.