Bravery, Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday & Clearing the Temple.

Today is Palm Sunday.

It would be easy to do a blog about welcoming Jesus into our lives, welcoming Jesus back into his Church, welcoming Jesus back into the City and welcoming him back into this nation and the world. -And certainly that is my prayer, especially as the Turning Mission starts today.

Nor am I going to do a blog about the fact that the Donkey was not a war-horse a symbol of peace and humility.

I could also talk about how the triumphant entry into Jerusalem on a Donkey was the fulfilment of a messianic prophesy in Zech.9.9, the people would have seen this as a clear acknowledgement that Jesus was claiming to be the Messiah, that is why they are getting so excited.

They have heard of his miraculous powers and they are imagining these being waged against their enemies.

The common idea at that time was a Military Messiah, like another Samson, who would over-throw the Romans, and rule over them like another King David. People would have expected after Jesus rode into to Jerusalem claiming to be the Messiah for him to wage some form of attack the Roman headquaters, but instead of clearing out the Romans he went and he cleared out the Temple.

They were expecting Jesus to judge the Romans and instead he challenged them, he challenged their religious practice and piety and found it wanting.

The temple really mattered to the Jewish people, they were very proud of it, and here Jesus is attacking the thing they hold most dear, questioning their motives, their faith, their hearts and their priorities -I don’t think we can quite grasp how huge and offensive this would have been for the people at that time.

Most of us are happy for our enemies to be judged, but, all of us are less keen when we ourselves are in the dock.

Jesus talked about seeing the speck in your brothers eye whilst having a log in your own, when we invite Jesus into our lives, home, family, work, church, city or nation he may start with the log in our own eyes not the speck in someone elses… and that might be uncomfortable.

Inviting Jesus into any situation is a courageous act of faith because Jesus may start by challenging us rather than challenging those around us.

Jesus may wreck our nicely ordered temples, and neat and tidy lives, he’s not into cosmetic change, tinkering around the edges, but gets to the heart of the issue -which is rarely comfortable.

Jesus rarely is into the preservation of the status quo but rather is into transformation.

Shane Claiborne said: “I know there are people out there who say, “My life was such a mess. I was drinking, partying, sleeping around; and then I met Jesus, and my whole life came together.” God bless those people. But for me, I had it together. I used to be cool (I was prom king, for heaven’s sake). Then I met Jesus, and He wrecked my life”.

Inviting Jesus in, is not something to do lightly, it is the biggest and most costly choice you will ever make, it goes on and on challenging us years after our first “yes”, but it is also the greatest and best choice any human being can make.

Are you brave enough to risk getting messed up by inviting Christ into your life?






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