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Friday, April 26, 2019

2019.04.26 Hopewell @Home ▫ John 12:12-16

Questions for Littles: How many people are in the crowd mentioned in John 12:12? What did they hear was happening? What did they take with them in John 12:13? Whom did they go to meet? What did they quote from Psalm 118:25-26? What did Jesus seek and find in John 12:14? What did He do with it? What was He saying about Himself, from Zechariah 9:9 (John 12:15)? Who didn’t understand these things at first (John 12:16)? When did they realize that Psalm 118 and Zechariah were referring to Jesus?
In the Gospel reading this week, the chief priests’ and Pharisees’ greatest fear seems to come true. Before John took us to the little dinner party in Bethany, we had left Jerusalem with two groups who were wondering if Jesus would come—the Passover-early-arrivers who were there to purify themselves for the feast, and the religious leaders who were hoping to put Him to death before He got too popular.

Too late. It’s five days before Passover now, and this is not just “many” people as in John 11:55 but now a “great multitude.” And the conclusion to which they had come is that Jesus is the King of Israel of Whom Psalm 118 spoke. Still, crowds are fickle. It has become popular in recent years to point out that this isn’t exactly the same crowd that will be shouting “crucify Him!” a few days later, but surely there was some overlap. And who knows how many others had garnered such attention or gathered such a following? Gamaliel points out that this has happened before (cf. Acts 5:36-37).

What is much more significant is the actions of Jesus. John merely tells us that Jesus “found a young donkey.” Matthew, Mark, and Luke all described the process by which Jesus specifically sought one out. By telling us that the disciples did not understand at first, John highlights for us the one who did understand: Jesus.

It wasn’t so much that Jesus was trying to make sure that all the ‘i's were dotted and ‘t’s were crossed. It was “that these things were written about Him.” In other words, it was not just that Scripture was being fulfilled; rather, the Scripture was the way it was precisely because it was looking forward to Him. Who He would be is what had determined what would be written—not the other way around.

The King had come. The Scripture responded rightly (hundreds of years earlier). The crowds (for now) responded rightly. The apostles (later) responded rightly. The King has come. How will you respond? Praying for salvation (Hosanna) and adoring His Majesty? Trusting in Him (fear not, daughter of Zion!)? God grant that it would be so.
What has your response been, so far, to King Jesus? How will you respond now?
Suggested songs: ARP118D “Now Open Wide the Gates” or TPH325 “All Glory, Laud, and Honor”

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