Speaking to the Soul – March 26



On a donkey

As [Jesus] rode along, the crowds spread out their garments on the road ahead of him. When he reached the place where the road started down the Mount of Olives, all of his followers began to shout and sing as they walked along, praising God for all the wonderful miracles they had seen. “Blessings on the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in highest heaven!” But some of the Pharisees among the crowd said, “Teacher, rebuke your followers for saying things like that!” Luke 19:36–39

Palm Sunday was a day full of surprises. Many people had hoped that Jesus might be the one who would kick the hated Romans out of the land. It would have suited them well if he had turned up on an impressive war horse and led a rebellion. But that wasn’t Jesus’ way. Instead, he turned up on a donkey of all creatures. Donkeys are undoubtedly attractive and loveable but you would never start an uprising with one! As he did so often, Jesus turned people’s expectations upside down; indeed everything that would happen in the coming week was going to shock them to the core.

People reacted very differently to Jesus on Palm Sunday. There were some who showed him the respect of laying their coats on the road and who shouted and sang their praises. They recognised that Jesus truly was the Messiah, sent by God to bring hope to the nation. But then there were the Pharisees who were appalled by this outburst and who encouraged Jesus to rebuke his noisy supporters. But Jesus informed them that the praising couldn’t be stopped, because if they ceased to praise him the stones along the road would burst into applause (v40)!

This Easter there will be very different reactions to Jesus. Some will want to offer him their worship, while the majority of people will be completely unmoved by it all. But be sure of this – the praises of Jesus will go on. They cannot be stopped.

What do you make of Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey?

Loving God, thank you that through your Son I learn what it really means to be a servant. Help me to be willing to be your servant today. Amen