by William Brassey Hole
TO CHEW ON: "The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him and cried out,
Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!
The King of Israel!" - John 12:12,13
Jesus was famous. News spread that He who raised Lazarus from the dead was in Bethany, just outside Jerusalem. He and Lazarus attracted crowds (John 12:9,12).
The gawkers concluded, rightly, that Jesus was THE ONE—the "He who comes in the name of the Lord! The King of Israel!"
The word "name" in the phrase "name of the Lord" is loaded with meaning.
Name - onoma in general signifies the name or term by which a person or thing is called (Matthew 10:2; Mark 3:16; Luke 1:63).However, it was quite common both in Hebrew and Hellenistic Greek to use onoma for all that the name implies such as:rank or authority (Matthew 7:22; John 14:13; Acts 3:6, 4:7),character (Luke 1:49; 11:2; Acts 26:9),reputation (Mark 6:14; Luke 6:22),representative (Matthew 7:22; Mark 9:37)" - Dick Mills, "Word Wealth," New Spirit-Filled Bible, p. 1465.
This crowd was telling the truth about Jesus. They were acknowledging that He was the Lord's representative with the Lord's rank, authority, character, and reputation. It is a truth that still sounds a worship summons to our hearts.
The sobering thing is that a few days later another crowd shouted, "Crucify Him!" Were the same people involved? I hope not. I hate to face the fact that the human heart—my heart—could be, and often is, so fickle.
PRAYER: Dear Jesus, thank You for coming as God's representative with His authority, character, and reputation. Help me to stay loyal to You, no matter what the crowd says or does. Amen.
MORE: Palm Sunday
Today the church celebrates Palm Sunday.
The liturgy for today begins with this collect:
Almighty and everliving God, in your tender love for the human race you sent your Son our Savior Jesus Christ to take upon him our nature, and to suffer death upon the cross, giving us the example of his great humility: Mercifully grant that we may walk in the way of his suffering, and also share in his resurrection; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.