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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