On a recent long-distance drive, I played the Book of John from beginning to end on my Bible app. For over three hours, the Gospel of John laid out the depth of the plan of God from “In the beginning was the Word” to the final directions with Peter to “feed My sheep.” Included in this Gospel is the poignant story of Jesus’ last week as told in John 12-20. I am looking forward to revisiting these chapters during this Passion week. The greatest impression from my drive was the overlying lesson of love from the disciple whom Jesus loved. It is no wonder that we often tell someone to start with the Gospel of John when they are new to the faith.
“In the beginning was the Word” and “the Word was made flesh and made His dwelling among us.” John 1:1&14. The living Word is Christ; the Messiah. In the days leading up to the triumphal entry, Jesus began to reveal more of His Person as Messiah. Fearing a repercussion from Rome, the leaders of the Synagogue were on edge as the people began to rally around Him. Just days before, Lazarus was raised from the dead. Two blind men were healed. Miraculous news spread quickly. Then Jesus made His appearance in Jerusalem riding on a donkey; the beast used by kings in times of peace. The people rallied and the shouts of “Hosanna” rose as the people put their robes on the streets and the children waved the palm branches.
I can’t help but wonder what the surge of the crowd felt like that day. The people were ready to have change. In their sphere, the next natural step was a King like David who would rule and set their earthly lives to order. This King would be different. This King was the King of Kings and His Kingdom was one of spiritual and eternal significance. Quite often humans have seen the workings of God in a one-dimensional sphere and God purposes His actions in a deeper dimension that has far wider and far deeper effects. His ways are higher and deeper.
The people on the streets that day did not have the knowledge of the cross and resurrection that would come so soon after this incredible entry. The disciples went through the motions of their last week with Jesus only to reflect later on the revelation and depth of the Gospel that had been played out before them.
I would encourage all of us to take time to revisit the Gospels this week. The story of our faith is an incredible journey best reset by a visit to the place where faith was set in motion. At the cross, the sacrifice was complete and so was our redemption. The purpose of the Messiah was finished.
John captured it in John 1:14, “We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
Pastor Sharon Baldwin
Southwestern Daycare Director