“As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road. When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen: “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!” “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”
I was doing a study on this passage last night when I noticed something interesting.
Within this account, there were 3 people groups mentioned. Did you see that? And each group did something different in response to Jesus riding the donkey down the road to Jerusalem.
- People – they spread their cloaks on the ground for Jesus
- Disciples – they joyfully praised God
- Pharisees – they scolded Jesus and the disciples
What a variety! As I thought more about it, I realized that the behaviors of each pointed to a bigger mindset that they held then. In fact, we can still see echoes of them today:
They acknowledge that Jesus is important, maybe even accept Him as their Lord. But their worship is polite and from a distance. Why? Fear, perhaps, or an unwillingness to get out of their comfort zone. Either way, the result is a formal, not very close relationship to God that doesn’t have a lot of impact in daily life.
They have taken the plunge, so to speak. Not only do they acknowledge Jesus as Lord, but they spend time learning more about Him and growing closer to Him. Their worship is bold, vocal, and based on knowing who Jesus is and what He has done. And they want to share the good news with the world.
They see Jesus as at the least, bothersome, and at the most, threatening. Believers in God, they also believe in keeping the status quo. Their worship life is static, following long-treasured routines and patterns. This leaves them a bit judgemental of newer ideas, and over time dries up their enthusiasm.
From this, two questions formed in my mind. First, “Which group would I have fallen into back in Jesus’ time? And then, of course, “Which group do I belong to here and now?”
Honestly, I fall between People and Disciple. At times I get really excited about sharing Jesus and worshipping out loud. But in other situations I hold back, for any number of reasons. For me, the key to staying in the Disciple category is to keep up my daily disciplines – reading the Word, lifting up prayers and praises, and seeking fellowship with my brothers and sisters.
How about you? Which category do you spend most of your time in?