Mat 21:1 As Jesus and the disciples approached Jerusalem, they came to the town of Bethphage on the Mount of Olives. Jesus sent two of them on ahead. Mat 21:2"Go into the village over there," He said. "As soon as you enter it, you will see a donkey tied there, with its colt beside it. Untie them and bring them to Me.Mat 21:3If anyone asks what you are doing, just say, 'The Lord needs them,' and he will immediately let you take them."Mat 21:4 This took place to fulfill the prophecy that said, Mat 21:5 "Tell the people of Israel, 'Look, your King is coming to you. He is humble, riding on a donkey—riding on a donkey's colt.'" Mat 21:6 The two disciples did as Jesus commanded. Mat 21:7 They brought the donkey and the colt to Him and threw their garments over the colt, and He sat on it. Mat 21:8 Most of the crowd spread their garments on the road ahead of Him, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. Mat 21:9 Jesus was in the center of the procession, and the people all around Him were shouting, "Praise God for the Son of David! Blessings on the One who comes in the name of the LORD! Praise God in highest heaven!" Mat 21:10 The entire city of Jerusalem was in an uproar as He entered. "Who is this?" they asked. Mat 21:11 And the crowds replied, "It's Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee." [NLT]
Will you know Him when He comes again?
We see here a large crowd, welcoming Jesus into the most important Jewish city of the time. They are praising him symbolically with palm branches and by laying their garments on the road in front of Him. They proclaim loudly their belief that He is sent from the Lord and that he is from the line of David. They praise God in Heaven for sending him. They completely miss the boat when they declare that He is a prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.
He had done many amazing things. He had healed the sick, raised the dead, turned water into wine, fulfilled prophecy about the Messiah step-by-step, and he had even faced the religious leaders of His time and won every "battle". But, they did not know Him. They still could only bring themselves to call Him a prophet. They did not know that He was "God with them".
How do I welcome the Messiah Jesus into my life?
I apologize for all the questions now, but in light of this passage I think we need to ask some tough questions of ourselves. And for my own sake, I will actually try to answer them honestly:
- Why do I call myself a follower of Jesus? - For me, there are many factors. He has "healed" me. He has offered me eternal life. He is the only truly trustworthy person in my life. He has offered me a life without sin - what a relief that will be. He loves me. He loves me. He loves me, and He proved it beyond a shadow of a doubt on the cross. He teaches me with gentleness and helps me to want something better.
- Do I really know Jesus as a friend, or is He just a Grand Magical Supplier of Gifts and Rewards? - I am such a selfish person in my heart. Even when thinking about Jesus I see what He did as a benefit to myself. I see the end result of what He offers me, and skip over the things that maybe should have more value. I am starting to change this way of thinking in my life. What good would eternal life be if Jesus wasn't there to share it with? What good would healing be if death was not defeated? What good would eternal life be, if we had to live it in sin. The greatest gift that Jesus offers me is His pull toward love. He is like a magnet that draws me into a loving relationship, with Him and with others. He is a burning fire that purifies, burning away the dross of selfishness. A loving relationship with Him, under any circumstance this evil world can throw at me, is the greatest gift offered to me and to you!
- How do I stop being the "white-washed tomb" and start making the inner changes? - I am starting to realize that it is the presence of God that makes anything "good" or holy, including us. If our bodies are temples, then we must ask ourselves what was it that made the temple of the Israelites holy? It was the Glory of God. The cloud that led them also entered the temple whenever they stopped to camp. Is the "cloud" inside my temple? Who can make me clean on the inside? I now daily ask for the Mind of Christ through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. By faith I believe that I receive it and by faith I expect to be changed. My faith is not based on blind belief, it is based on the promises from God. The hard part is that the more God fills my "temple" the more I see how dirty it is...
- Will I recognize Jesus when He comes again? - I see now how important study of the scriptures is. Pastors and preachers will often stick to the popular topics to appease the crowd. They won't tackle the tough questions for fear of looking foolish. It is so important that I study God's Word for myself and find a real personal relationship with Him. Many will be led astray in the last days and many will accept the false Christ because he will look how they have defined him. This can be true of anyone who is not grounded in the truth. Truth is NOT what you make it; it is simply what God has made it for He is the source of ALL truth. If nothing exists that was not made from His hand then He alone is the first and final source of truth. Do you value truth in your life, or do you like being lied to for the sake of your own personal comfort?
The Israelites welcomed Jesus as the Messiah, but they did not "know" their Messiah. They had defined Him in their own minds, and teachings, and philosophies as a conquering hero who would save them from the Roman oppression. They did not see that He had come to save them from the worst oppression of all, sin. So, I ask once more...will you know Him when He comes again?
Dear Father in Heaven,
I praise You Lord for the gift of Jesus, Your Son. I praise You that You think me worthy to know as a friend. I praise You for Your Love and Mercy and Your desire to remove sin from my life. Please today indwell me with the Holy Spirit. I want to have the Mind of Christ within me today. Thank You for keeping that promise.
Lord, forgive my sins and the sins of my children. Please cover me with the robe of Jesus righteousness. Please cover my children also. Protect us today Lord. Use me today in anyway that You need me. Amen.