Palm Sunday 24.3.13 Luke 19.28-40

16 03 2013

Shouting and Shushing

Luke’s version of Jesus entry into Jerusalem seems to put more emphasis on the ‘colt mission’ of two nameless disciples than on the entry itself. Nonetheless it is powerful story of statement and recognition – and it demands a response.

Luke 19.28-40

After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.

29 When he had come near Bethphage and Bethany, at the place called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of the disciples, 30saying, ‘Go into the village ahead of you, and as you enter it you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31If anyone asks you, “Why are you untying it?” just say this: “The Lord needs it.” ’ 32So those who were sent departed and found it as he had told them. 33As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, ‘Why are you untying the colt?’ 34They said, ‘The Lord needs it.’ 35Then they brought it to Jesus; and after throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. 36As he rode along, people kept spreading their cloaks on the road. 37As he was now approaching the path down from the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the deeds of power that they had seen, 38saying,
‘Blessed is the king
who comes in the name of the Lord!
Peace in heaven,
and glory in the highest heaven!’
39Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, ‘Teacher, order your disciples to stop.’ 40He answered, ‘I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out.’

Reflection

To help give shape to the reflection here are three types of question: head questions, heart questions and hand questions. They are about our intellectual response, our emotional response and our practical or behavioural response. I hope that you will want to work at all three levels.

Head Questions

  1. What’s the significance of the colt being one on which no one has ever sat?
  2. No mention of palms here, but what’s all this about garments – on the colt and on the road? Is this casting off of vesture functional or meaningful?
  3. There is no cry of ‘hosanna’ in Luke. The crowd do not shout in order to be saved but to bless and affirm.  Are you with them?

Heart Questions

  1. With whom do you most easily identify – the disciples on the ‘colt mission’, the multitude of rejoicing disciples, or the Pharisees saying ‘shush’?
  2. Luke said the disciples were moved to rejoice by ‘miracles’ or ‘deeds of power’. What moves you to rejoice?
  3. How do you picture Jesus’ face through all this?

Hand Questions

  1. Does the Lord have a mission for you? Will you go where you are sent?
  2. Are you being called to offer up or cast down your coat, jacket or shirt? (Think metaphorically as well as literally.)
  3. Jesus answered the Pharisees back. Are you prepared to answer back to power when appropriate?

Finally

These questions are intended to challenge you to engage more closely with the passage and to hear and feel what it has to say to you.  That’s more than a five-minute task. And so is the follow-up, working out what you might want to say to others as a result of engaging with the passage with head, heart and hands.  Take your time.

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