The next day the large crowd that had come for the Feast heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. So they took branches from palm trees and went out to meet him. They shouted, “Hosanna! ” “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!” (Psalm 118:25,26) “Blessed is the King of Israel!”
Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it. This is just as it is written in Scripture. It says,
“City of Zion, do not be afraid.
See, your king is coming.
He is sitting on a donkey’s colt.” (Zechariah 9:9)
At first, Jesus’ disciples did not understand all this. They realized it only after he had received glory. Then they realized that these things had been written about him. They realized that the people had done these things to him.
A crowd had been with Jesus when he called Lazarus from the tomb and raised him from the dead. So they continued to tell everyone about what had happened. Many people went out to meet him. They had heard that he had done this miraculous sign.
So the Pharisees said to one another, “This isn’t getting us anywhere. Look how the whole world is following him!” – John 12:12-19
I am convinced that Jesus’ disciples – the 12 men who were His closest friends and followers – spent the majority of their time being perplexed by Him. (In fact, as we saw from yesterday’s passage, it was those outside His “inner circle” who seemed to have the clearest picture of who He was. Mary worshipped at His feet while they bickered on…) John again writes today’s passage, and he doesn’t seem to shy away from this fact…
As Jesus rode into Jerusalem toward His death, the people worshipped Him. And John admits that he and his friends did not quite understand what was happening. It was only after Jesus died and came back to life that the guys did a giant facepalm.
“Ohhhh! All that stuff that happened to Jesus was predicted in the Old Testament!” [Of course, they didn’t call it the Old Testament. There was no “Bible” then, just the Jewish writings that were later put into the Bible.] “We should have known!”
Can you follow Jesus without fully understanding everything about him? Ask John, who admitted in writing to it. Ask Peter, who denied Him. Ask all the disciples, who huddled in a secret hideout like cowards after Jesus died. I think they’d say yes.