(from the Concordant Literal New Testament) – Mark 11: 1-10 tells the story of what is often referred to as the “Triumphal Entry” into Jerusalem to great and seemingly spontaneous and positive crowd response. But was this manufactured? Was the crowd egged on? Was this the result of hype?
It is a possibility. Of course we may never know for sure because our way of perceiving now is so different from how perceptions were formed during the time that Jesus lived. But let’s look at the text. On coming into Jerusalem Jesus tells his companions to
“Go into the village facing you, and straightway, going into it you will be finding a colt, bound, on which not as yet, any man is seated. Loose it and bring it. And if anyone should be saying to you, ‘What is this you are doing? say that The Lord has need of it….'”
And it happens exactly that way. I have always been a bit mystified by the use of the title “Lord” when referring to Jesus, the Christ. Lord is a title like president, viceroy, chairman, etc. It is given to people who have power, and authority, influence like a ruler. Now Jesus was not born into any of this and he cannot be said to be of that class at that time. It is a title conferred on him by those who believe he is the Messiah (another title). So I have many questions. Why did Jesus tell his disciples to tell a “white lie”? He was not a Lord in terms of class and position. Was it just a way to get what he wanted because people wouldn’t question taking another persons property if it was done by a Lord? When he then rides the colt entering Jerusalem, and people are shouting and laying their cloaks on the road and waving palm branches, were they just caught up in the hoopla because someone had prepped them saying that “someone special, a lord, is coming to town.” Were his followers egging on the crowd whipping them into a frenzy of adulation? Was it all manufactured? Was this one of the reasons people turned on him? Did the people thinking he was a Lord of the land come to see that he was just a poor homeless man that wasn’t going to change their world? Did Jesus play into the hype because he knew he could never live up to others expectations for him?
Of course that is entirely possible and while many Christians would read this and start shaking their heads in disappointment I would postulate that if this is what happened then the lesson from this story is very different. This story is typically told as a justification for the Godhood of Jesus, the Christ as a Celebration of his Godliness. But the Greater lesson is that Jesus did not come to change the world but to change individual lives through a change of perception, thinking, and being. This is the true miracle. The miracle is not that Jesus is the essence of God but that he paved the way for all individuals to be the same, to save us from ourselves to find the essence of God in our own lives. We were created in the image of God. We have access to the essence of godliness. It is time to wake up! Don’t suffer from the hype of God changing the world for you. Let God change YOU for the world. It’s not something we make happen, it’s something that happens to us.