Hi, welcome to Redeem the Commute. I’m Ryan, your host for the daily challenges. This week’s topic is part of our series called Jesus Is… where we’re trying to learn about the identity of Jesus, through studying some key stories in the Bible.
Our daily challenges are meant to help you explore what it means to follow Jesus, even if you don’t have a lot of time. We have a rhythm that keeps us in sync, even if we’re not a community that meets together in person regularly. Every Monday we introduce the week’s idea. Every Tuesday we study it in the Bible. Every Wednesday we see how that challenges and transforms our thinking on the topic. Thursdays we try to apply and live it out. Friday is a day for prayer and reflection before we take a rest on Saturday, and Sundays we meet together with others in community.
Yesterday was a day called Palm Sunday, the Sunday before Easter. It’s called that because of this story: And when he had said these things, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. When he drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount that is called Olivet, he sent two of the disciples, saying, “Go into the village in front of you, where on entering you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever yet sat. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ you shall say this: ‘The Lord has need of it.’” So those who were sent went away and found it just as he had told them. And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?” And they said, “The Lord has need of it.” And they brought it to Jesus, and throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. And as he rode along, they spread their cloaks on the road. As he was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives—the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.” (Luke 19:28-40 ESV)
Jesus was entering the city of Jerusalem, a few days before he would be crucified. He was being welcomed like a hero, because people expected he might be long awaited Messiah, or anointed one. They thought he’d be the rebellion leader who would help them rise up against the Romans and restore Jewish rule and religious law in Israel’s land.
They would have been incredibly surprised and disappointed when jesus showed up riding a borrowed donkey, instead. An undignified animal! But all the same, they celebrated his arrival, singing, chanting and paving his way with palm branches, hoping he was the king the expected, and not the king they needed.
Question: Why do you think Jesus wanted to be seen as an anti-hero? What might the people have learned from his strange entrance to the city?