April 14, 2014

Matthew 21:6- The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them.

This is a simple line from Matthew’s account of what we now call Palm Sunday. It almost seems like a “throw away” statement, just one of those things writers put in their works to move things along, to get to the real drama. And drama there was and had been; twenty chapters of angels and healings and mysterious sayings and confrontations. Now with the buzz building the group assembles on the hill outside Jerusalem and Jesus sends a couple of them to fetch a donkey, or, in Matthew’s case, a donkey and her colt. Could they really have envisioned what was to come; that they were going to ride triumphantly into the capital, be with Jesus as he taught on the big stage of the temple, have it all go south abruptly with betrayal from within, and within 24 hours of their holiday meal turn into a trial and execution? Probably not. There are places in the gospel accounts where the writer takes pains to highlight that the disciples didn’t really understand what Jesus did and said until after Easter. In the meantime there were these moments like the one recorded above where Jesus told them to do something and they did it. Our lives unfold and often we don’t understand the twists and turns until from a perspective drawn of time and distance a picture or sense of understanding emerges. In between are the times of dealing with simple instructions, doing in the present moment what we believe God would have us do as we hear him in scripture and worship and community. The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. What has God instructed you to do this week?

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