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PALM SUNDAY                                      JOHN 12:12-19

The first 11 verses describe what happened at the home of Simon the Leper (Mark 14:3). Less than a week before the Passover, Jesus was invited to dine there with other guests including Lazarus, Martha, and Mary.

At this dinner, Mark broke an expensive alabaster box of perfume and anointed the feet of Jesus. When Judas Iscariot attempted to rebuke her, Jesus came to her defense. In foretelling His death, perhaps she was the only one in the room which realized His time had come.

The very next day, Jesus made His triumphant entrance into Jerusalem. In this we the ...


1  RECEPTION (12) Jerusalem was packed out with pilgrims. Some estimate that as many as 2 million people gathered for Passover. 

 People were anxiously awaiting His coming.  In 11:56, religious leaders wondered if Jesus would even show up.

There were differing views on whom Jesus was.


After the raising of Lazarus, some believed He was the Messiah sent from God.


Many felt Jesus was a leader in the mode of Judas Maccabee and would soon deliver Israel from Roman rule.  Maccabee led a revolt against Syria in 166 BC, and was a national hero.


Others felt Jesus was just a miracle worker who could and would make all things right.


There were those who saw Him as a threat to the religious status quo and would spare no effort to rid themselves of this Jesus of Nazareth.


One thing was certain: No one was ambivalent on Jesus.



2  REVERENCE (13) Palm leaves were used as a sign of victory and joy, and had been a symbol of Jewish nationalism since the time of the Maccabees. This was a patriotic rally, and most looked to Jesus as a political and national savior, not a spiritual savior. Salvation would come spiritually, not politically.

Hosanna = “Save us now!”

 "If he can raise the dead, He can defeat Rome!"

But Jesus showed that His purpose was peace by riding a donkey, in fulfillment of prophecy ( Zechariah 9:9)


3  REGALNESS (14-16)  Other Gospel writers note that Jesus sent his disciples to fetch this young, untamed donkey.

 Prior to the introduction of horses to Israel during Solomon’s reign, Jewish royalty often road young donkeys as a sign of high office and peace. Even David.

Jesus was not riding a horse, for he was not coming to make war. Also, God had warned Israel about the danger of putting their trust in horses.

King Jesus was coming in peace, even as his father David had done before him.


All his life, Jesus had walked everywhere. But now he deliberately decided to cover this short distance on an unbroken donkey, one he would not ride again.

By so doing, he would be publicly declaring that he was the Messiah.

So as king, Jesus requisitioned the donkey and its mother to carry him into the city. Maybe this donkey’s name  was Christopher, meaning “Christ-bearer.”


This was done to fulfill God promise of Zechariah 9:9.

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, your King comes unto you: He is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon a donkey, and upon a colt the foal of a donkey.

His followers did not know the meaning of this, but their understanding was enlightened after the Resurrection.



4 RATIFICATION (17-18) John was keen on “witness”.

Jews who were present at the tomb of Lazarus told fellow Jews from other areas of the power of Jesus. They were eyewitnesses to the resurrection of Lazarus. Some would also be witnesses to the resurrected Jesus.

However, many were there out of curiosity, and because it was Passover/.

 In Luke 23:8, even Herod himself wanted to see Jesus “perform”.



5  RESENTMENT (19) Religious leaders deplored the adoration the people were giving Jesus, this “nobody” from “nowhere”.

They looked upon him as a threat to the religious status quo, and wanted him to disappear.

It should be our earnest prayer that the “whole world” will go after Him!


So how do we view Jesus?  Do we receive Him with reverence, celebrating his regalness as King of Kings, or do we resent His commandments?