Scripture reading: John 12:12-19
“They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting,
‘Blessed is he comes in the name of the Lord!’
‘Blessed is the King of Israel!’”
“Now the crowd that was with him when he called Lazarus from the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to spread the word. Many people, because they had heard that he had given this miraculous sign went out to meet him. So the Pharisees said to one another, ‘See, this is getting us nowhere. Look how the whole world has gone after him!’”
John 12:13, 19 (NIV)
The people traveling to the Feast of the Passover received word that the Teacher was coming to Jerusalem. (My research showed that there could have been close to 2,700,000 people attending this feast.1)
There were several groups of people in this massive crowd. Those who followed Jesus, those who heard about Him and were curious, and those who were the governing officials—the Pharisees and the Sadducees.
Those who followed Jesus may have been caught up in the mood of the larger crowd. Those who had heard of the Lord wanted to make Him an earthly king. (Verse 13.) This was not Jesus’ plan. The Pharisees watched and witnessed the horde of people going to where Jesus was and decided that they may have been fighting a losing battle. This scene seemed to cement their resolve to remove Jesus from this earth.
Jesus, who came in peace and not war, did not have it in mind to be an earthly king. He knew what lay ahead for Him. I wonder what He thought when he heard the crowd say, “Blessed is the King of Israel.” Could it be He realized that the people had not been listening to his teachings?
- Daily Study Bible: The Book of John Vol. 2 by William Barclay. © Westminster Press. Philadelphia 1975, Page 115