Today’s Reading: Genesis 28-29; Mark 11
The eleventh chapter of the Gospel Mark starts with the “The Triumphant Entry” of Jesus into Jerusalem. As Christians, we celebrate this event as Palm Sunday, a day which our humble king, Jesus, rode a donkey into Jerusalem. Verse eight says the people of the city “spread their clothes on the road, and others cut down leafy branches from the trees and spread them on the road.”
The prophet Luke also wrote of this day in Luke 19:28-39, which he chronicles the event much like Mark did. Neither prophet indicates how large the crowds were nor what the context for His entry was. What we do know is many Jews returned to Jerusalem for Passover and the crowds in the city would have been much larger than usual. One point of note, verse 39 in Luke 19 says “And some of the Pharisees called to Him from the crowd, ‘Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.’” Even in the celebration of Jesus and the recognition of Him as a “king-like figure,” He had detractors that were “loud voices.” Wikipedia has a great illustration chronicling this event by four different prophets, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
Just five short days later, Jesus was murdered by the Jewish leaders, in what we as Christians refer to as Good Friday.
How could a man go from being hailed and glorified on Sunday to being dead on Friday?
The Jewish leaders, who saw Jesus as a threat to their leadership and traditions, set out to get rid of Jesus. The Sanhedrin, or Jewish leadership, commanded great respect holding and instilling the Jewish traditions. They rebuked Jesus for claiming He was their King. Unfortunately, their “loud voices” prevailed.
Even though five days earlier, hundreds, likely thousands, were hailing Jesus as their King. I cannot help but think about all the miracles Jesus performed, the lives of people He had changed, and wonder where they were during Jesus’ “trial.” Were they there to testify to Jesus’ power? Did they speak up to defend their Savior for the good things He had done for them?
This leads me to reflect on who are the “loudest voices” in my life. Who do I listen to, to formulate my opinions and beliefs? How do I make decisions in my life? Where do I derive my opinions on what is right and proper? Do I reflect on what my parents taught me? Do I turn to friends and family for their influence? Do I listen to elected officials to influence my decisions?
I encourage us all to be cautious and guarded about who we turn to for advice and more importantly who influences our decisions. Facebook, Instagram, and even the media are NOT objectives sources of information. Influencers in our lives are building blocks and foundation of how we make decisions. I encourage you to take a very close look and explore how you react to situations and who you rely on to help you make decisions. Be cautious of those that try to influence you in ways that contradict the Gospel Jesus died for. Be guarded of those that question your pursuit of faith-filled life because it may be subtly pulling you away from Jesus.
Even though the “masses” worshipped Jesus on a Sunday, a small few had him crucified on Friday. Unfortunately, the “loudest voices,” even though they were few, influenced the death of the greatest man to ever walk this earth.
Be on guard against the “loudest voices.”