Who Not What
The next day the great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting,
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Blessed is the king of Israel!” (John 12:12-13)
The palm branches, the donkey, and the crowd. And of course, Jesus. Here is Palm Sunday, the beginning of what is typically known as “Holy Week” in Churchland (at least that’s what I’m calling the place where “churchy” things live).
Here is something I find really interesting about this, the crowd went out praising Jesus before they actually met him! John’s gospel tells us first what the crowd did, went out shouting praises, then it tells us what Jesus did. Notice their shouts of “Hosanna” (which can mean, “save us” or “Savior”) and “king” before they meet Jesus on the path or witness anything he did.
The crowd’s shouts of praise were more about WHO Jesus is than WHAT he did. The fact that he is Savior, Messiah, King is what makes him worthy of our praise, not because of what he has done for us. Even when we find ourselves in a difficult season, fighting a particular battle, or wandering through the wilderness, he is still deserving of our praise.
Regardless of what God does or does not do for us, this is still true. Thankfully, God is still about the business of doing things in our world and in our lives, even when we don’t see it or the timing seems off. I believe God desires good things for us and is working toward that end. In the meantime, let us praise him for WHO he is…Love, Grace, Mercy, Peace, Hope, Redemption, Restoration, and Life.