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The Last Sunday in Pentecost (C57)

John 12:9-19


When the great crowd of the Jews learned that he was there, they came not only because of Jesus but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. So the chief priests planned to put Lazarus to death as well, since it was on account of him that many of the Jews were deserting and were believing in Jesus. The next day the great crowd that had come to the festival heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem.

So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, shouting, "Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord-- the King of Israel!" Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it; as it is written: "Do not be afraid, daughter of Zion. Look, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey's colt!"

His disciples did not understand these things at first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written of him and had been done to him. So the crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to testify. It was also because they heard that he had performed this sign that the crowd went to meet him.

The Pharisees then said to one another, "You see, you can do nothing. Look, the world has gone after him!"

The Best Laid Plans ...

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For the author of the book of John, Jesus' kingship was an important theme, one which he felt could only be properly understood after the crucifixion and resurrection. Although he points out that a king riding a donkey was a sign of peace. The crowd comes out because Jesus had raised Lazarus, so their motivation was miracles. The chief priests were there because they were still looking to trap Jesus and to figure out what to do about the crowds. The Disciples were there, of course, but didn't seem to get it just yet. This story is in every gospel; it is interesting to compare them side-by-side and see what the different authors emphasized.

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