Today my study time focused on John 12:12-19. It is a passage where Jesus enters Jerusalem on a donkey and the people praise Him. Later in the passage we discover the disciples were unaware of the gravity of that moment [v. 16].
Sometimes when we are familiar with a bible story we can gloss over the humanity in it. I stopped in my tracks this morning when I realized how the disciples must have felt following along this joyful procession. What did they think was happening in this moment? Was their confidence in the event or in their Master? I ask myself that same question many times.
It was feasting time, a large crowd was shouting praise and calling Christ the King of Israel. If I was a disciple, I would have felt hopeful and proud that the Christ that I knew was living up to my vision of the coming King. I would have been glad to be a part of his procession and wonderfully encouraged that things were finally going to work out for the good. People seemed to be coming to their senses and the disciples had an inside track! Isn’t this exactly how things should play out? Christ, born a man, embraced by the people and crowned King? I would have thought “this is it!” the hard work is going to pay off, this is where Christ will be exalted, life will get easier and everyone will see the truth in Christ!
Sometimes I get caught up in thinking I have God’s purpose figured out. I catch myself thinking that because a certain thing has happened, it must mean I am on the right track, that I am serving God and fulfilling His purpose for me. Every Christian wants to be living in the will of God. The problem is: that circumstances alone don’t tell us God’s will for us or His purpose in our lives. That can only be understood by piecing together circumstances, biblical truth and listening to the Spirit’s direction.
I don’t know for sure how the disciples felt. We have the liberty of seeing their shortcomings when he was crucified, their doubts before the resurrection and the glory in their testimonies in the later years. Instead of glossing over well known events in today’s passage, I am praying to remember the absolute wisdom in God’s plans. The wisdom that will come from following him in joyful processions or even to the foot of a cross. His plans are good, His plans are perfect and my hope will be secure when it rests in Him, not in my understandings of what is happening around me. Thanks for the reminder God!