YOUR FATHER’S GOOD PLEASURE
PALM SUNDAY, APRIL 5, 2020
Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
~ Luke 12:32 ~
By this stage in his ministry, Jesus had developed a cult-like following among some in Israel. Many of them had long-anticipated the coming of the promised Messiah, but in their view, this Messiah would be a political savior - one who would deliver them from the oppression of the Roman Empire. Jesus’ miracles, acts of healing, and willingness to stand up to the religious leaders had attracted the attention of the nation (and the ire of the religious leaders) and many wondered if Jesus could be the Messiah they had been awaiting. As a result, the people were buzzing in anticipation for the Passover festivities - would Jesus dare to show up in public and what would happen if he did? Was Passover the time he would save them and inaugurate his kingdom?
Today’s reading offers the first answer to their question - yes, Jesus was truly the Messiah; yes, he was coming to Passover; yes, he would deliver the nation of Israel (and all who believe in him), just not in the manner in which they expected. Unmet expectations are difficult for all of us, but unmet expectations related to Jesus’ identity and the manner in which God is at work always strike at the core of what we believe. Salvation was coming, but not on Israel’s terms. God was at work, but not in the way they expected. He was offering freedom, but not the kind they desired. As a result, though they cheered him on Palm Sunday, they abandoned him before the week was over. In our celebration of Palm Sunday today, let’s examine our own view of Jesus - it is our Heavenly Father’s good pleasure to offer us his kingdom, but is that really what we’re seeking?
Today’s Reading: [17 verses]
***Reading Suggestion: Read slowly and thoughtfully. Each day’s reading has been arranged chronologically, which means for some days there are multiple passages (occasionally requiring some flipping back and forth), please read in the order listed to stay on track. I’ve opted for shorter readings to allow more time for thought and reflection. Avoid the urge to just “get the reading done,” but rather take time to consider and contemplate Jesus this week as the reading takes you through what he experienced each day. I pray this will be an encouragement to you which causes you to more fully appreciate our great Savior - may your love, appreciation, and joy in him continue to expand in this Easter season!