Lectionary Reflection: Mark 11: 1-11, John 12: 12-16: Children and Dogs

            The people got it right.  The people in the streets, the common, ordinary, you and me working class people knew full well who was coming into Jerusalem on that day.  It was the Messiah, the glory of God, the son of David, the King,  They shouted for joy, danced in the streets, laid down their cloaks and palms to keep down the dusty road, and to honor the one come to save them.  Hosanna!  It means save.  The only thing they got wrong was the timing.

            Everyone at that time remained in their sins (unacceptable to God).  The sacrifice for sin needed to be made first.  Jesus had not yet been crucified, so he was not yet glorified.  Oh, but that did not matter.  The people knew who Jesus was, and given a chance, without undue propaganda, spin and the twisted words of “authorities” to sway the mind, the people got it right.

            Jesus came into Jerusalem like the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and he went to the Temple and looked around at everything (Mark tells us) before he retired to Bethany.  That says to me he presented himself and made sure all of the authorities in the Temple got a good look at him.  He did the opposite of a back room, underground revolutionary movement.  I tell you, he might as well have come into town carrying a sign.  “Jesus I am.  I am Jesus.”

            Certainly the authorities said, “That Jesus I am.  That Jesus I am.  I do not like that Jesus I am.”  Then Jesus could respond, “Do you like green eggs and (made from Kosher beef but artificially enhanced to taste like) ham?”

            It is a wonder to me they did not arrest him that very first night.

            But spin takes time.  Propaganda and twisted words need time to be effective, even when all of the mindless, robotic gossips are on your side to do your bidding.  It took the authorities a whole week to turn the people.  And that the people in the end were so easily turned…

            It is all in the timing.  No doubt many expected the Messiah to come riding in, snap his fingers and make everything instantly perfect, and free.  Everyone was looking for no more tears and the free lunch, but it doesn’t work that way.  He came to do the first thing, the most important thing, the thing on which everything else would stand.  He came to die.  He came to be our sacrificial lamb, to cleanse us from our sins.  He came to make us once again acceptable to God, and to be resurrected unto glory.  He will come again to ride into town, this time to snap those fingers.  I only wonder if this time anyone will be there to shout Hosanna!

            So the people got it right before they were swayed to get it terribly wrong. 


            I think this may be what old man Franklin, Jefferson, Adams, Madison and Washington had in mind when they designed a constitution that gave power to the people rather than the “authorities” (the government).  Given a fair chance, the people will get it right.  Sadly, things have not changed much.  The “authorities” still have propaganda, spin, twisted words and willing dupes in the media (our version of mindless, robotic gossips) to sway the people towards what is terribly wrong.  Will our courts wash their hands, like Pilate?  How will we fair in November?  Will we get it right?


            The people got it wrong by the end of the week.  Then Jesus got arrested.  Then Jesus got crucified.  But at first, though the disciples did not understand it all, the people got it right.  Good, common, ordinary hard working people are much like they say about children and dogs in that way.  They can smell out who is worthy to be trusted as long as they are not overwhelmed by the lies of those “authorities” who would steal the crown for themselves.


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