Jesus and his disciples went up to Jerusalem for the Passover. Passover was a gathering of the Jewish people to remember what God had done and anticipate what he would do in the future.
As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and just as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ tell him, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here shortly.’ ” They went and found a colt outside in the street, tied at a doorway. As they untied it, some people standing there asked, “What are you doing, untying that colt?” They answered as Jesus had told them to, and the people let them go. When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, he sat on it. Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields. Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted, “Hosanna! ” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!” “Hosanna in the highest!” Jesus entered Jerusalem and went to the temple. He looked around at everything, but since it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve. (Mark 11:1-11)
Was Jesus the Messiah? The crowd certainly thought so. What kind of Messiah they didn’t understand. That was made clear by the events at the end of the week, which we have just remembered at Easter.
Two questions are asked in this passage:
V3 Why are you doing this?
V5 What are you doing?
The answer to both is “The Lord needs it.”
What is the difference between ‘why’ & ‘what’? ‘Why’ can be an open question, to find things out. ‘What’ is clarification of something already known.
What am I doing? Why? Why is the more important question.
Here is a big WHHHY we ask our teenage children:
W – Where are you going?
H – How are you getting there?
H – How long will you be there?
H – How much is it going to cost?
Y – who are You going with?
Where are you going? There were loads of people going to Jerusalem. They knew where they were going. There are loads of people going towards Jesus this Easter. Will you join them or go against them?
How are you getting there? The runners in the London Marathon have one goal – to get to the finish. Wherever we are in our faith, God is pleased we are in the race and determined to finish.
How long? All your life.
How much? We all make sacrifices to follow Jesus. He asks us to change. But the cost to Jesus outweighs them all.
Who with? We have to do it ourselves. You can’t hitch a ride on someone else’s journey. But there are many who will help and encourage us.
Humanity of Jesus – he needed a donkey to carry him into Jerusalem, he needed Simon to carry his cross.
Jesus doesn’t need us, but he wants us to need him. He chooses us, invites us, desires us to make the journey.
[from a sermon by Pete Orphan 13/4/14]