OUR PASTOR REMINDED me this past weekend, when preaching about Palm Sunday, how odd it was for Jesus to enter Jerusalem on a donkey. Kings usually sat on a fine horse at the head of their victory parade. All pomp and circumstance, as it were. This was like the President turning up for a State visit in a Smart Car.
I recently watched a documentary about a supposed Indian holy man who traveled everywhere in one of his 93 Rolls Royces (some armor-plated). For me, the show sharpened the contrast with the unlikely nature of Christ’s entry into Israel’s capital.
But, then, Jesus’s arrival was a procession like no other. He came to Jerusalem to subvert the world’s way of doing things, turning surrender—His will to the Father’s—to victory. And, in the process, turning death into life.
This wasn’t the only time that Jesus came in an unexpected manner that caught people out, though. There was the occasion when He sent His disciples out across the lake ahead of Him. Then, walked out on the water to catch up with them later.
When He neared the boat they shrieked, thinking He was a ghost (Matthew 24).
Things didn’t get much better after the Resurrection. Mary mistook Jesus for a gardener (John 20), and later that same day two followers dismissed Him as just some fellow traveler on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24).
None of these were casual acquaintances you might expect could fail to recognize someone. They knew Jesus intimately—and still they missed Him.
Bearing all this in mind, I need to remember that when Jesus comes in my life at different times, it may not be in ways that I expect. If I am too busy looking for the big and flashy, I may miss the meek and mild.
And in the same way, when Jesus sends me into other people’s lives, it may not be with parade lights flashing and horns blaring. It may be quietly and calmly.
I wonder: how many times have I missed both His coming and sending because it didn’t fit with my expectations? The story of the triumphant entry underscores how Jesus came to do the unthinkable, so we shouldn’t be too surprised that may turn out to be unconventional.
Let’s not assume too much about how God wants to do things; we all know what that makes of us.
Photo by Klearchos Kapoutsis on Foter.com/CC BY