“Jesus arrives on the scene disinclined to greatness but inclined to goodness.” This line really stood out in one of the devotionals I read this morning. Just a bit earlier in Mark, Jesus referred to himself as “Lord.” But His definition of ‘Lord’ is a bit different that the people He will encounter as they enter Jerusalem.
The excited people gathered for the Passover with shout “Hosanna!” and declare him ‘Lord’ and will call in the kingdom of David as Jesus arrives. Hosanna means ‘Save!” – they had such high expectations for Jesus. They were ready to anoint Him. Riding in on a donkey probably wasn’t what most had imagined for the day a king would return to save Israel. The crowd was so charged that Jesus could have been easily lured in. But He was not. As He slowly progressed His mind remained resolutely focused on the cross. He could have chosen greatness but instead He chose to be the good servant.
Jesus’ life was never about power or status or accolades. His life was always about service and the offering of self for others. To follow Him is to do as He did. It is hard. Remember, when the teachings got really tough and the road narrowed, then the crowds thinned and the followers fell away. His teachings were challenging and required a cost or sacrifice – most often to self, to status, or to possessions. In Jesus’ economy the things of value are love, mercy, justice.
In the week ahead, as we enter Holy Week, the road gets really narrow. It will take a bit to walk through the week ahead with Christ. This Lenten season of self-denial and introspection makes us ask some hard questions. He is calling us to read the Word, to feel the tug of the emotions, to be a part of His Holy Week. Happy trails!
Scripture reference: Mark 11: 4-7