The crowd from the feast at Lazarus’ house followed Jesus out into the streets of Jerusalem the next day. In their exuberance and worship they lay palm branches, the Jewish national symbol, down in the dirt like a carpet for their King.
“Hosanna!” they shouted joyfully, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!”
John notes the crowd’s motives in verses 17-18: “The crowd that had been with Him when He called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to bear witness. The reason why the crowd went to meet Him was that they heard He had done this sign.”
The crowd was looking for a leader. An eloquent, spiritual man who raises people from the dead was a spectacular choice. The popularity vote was strongly in Jesus’ favor.
And the Pharisees hated that. Their plotting continued.
But Jesus remained focused. His ride on a young donkey down the street before the jubilant crowd was a fulfillment of the Prophecy recorded by Zechariah, the priest, over 500 years before. Scripture was being fulfilled right before their eyes.
“Fear not, daughter of Zion;
behold, your king is coming,
sitting on a donkey's colt!”
The crowd’s idea of a king and God’s idea of a King were different. God is not limited to political parties or public opinions. Isaiah 55:8 says, “‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,’ declares the LORD.”
God was unrolling a plan that would span centuries. He was in the process of redeeming mankind, not just relaxing the strain on the Jewish people of that day.
Where are you in the crowd? Do you have your own ideas or agendas that you are asking God to bless? Will you choose to lay down your own plan and ask God to reveal His purposes in your life instead?