This was an entrance befitting a king. He arrived with an entourage of disciples, followers and crowds of pilgrims approaching the city. Crowds cheered him and sang his praise. It was such a spectacle that the people in the city began wonder what was going on and to ask Who is this? This is an important question which should be asked and answered today.
The identity of Jesus was and is important. When Jesus calmed a storm that threatened the lives of his disciples they asked, What kind of man is this? Later Jesus asked his disciples, Who do people say the Son of Man is? … and … what about you? Who do you say I am? (Matthew 16:13–15) These are questions which challenge and divide people.
Who is this? Pilate, mocking Jesus and upsetting the Jewish officials answered this question by putting a sign on the cross as Jesus was crucified – King of the Jews. The Roman Centurion at the foot of the cross answered it exclaiming, Surely he was the Son of God! (Matthew 27:54). Most importantly, God answered this question on Easter Sunday as Jesus rose from the dead.
This question divided the people of Jesus’ day. Some celebrated him with cries of Hosanna. But the religious leaders were indignant even though they witnessed miracles of healing, the blind given sight and the lame walking. To the officials the songs of Hosanna from the lips of children were blasphemy. Bubbling and boiling beneath the surface was a religious anger which was about to erupt into condemnation of Jesus, leading to his execution as a troublemaker and blasphemer.
Who is this? Peter answered, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. (Matthew 16:16) The Centurion answered, Surely he was the Son of God! (Matthew 27:54). God answered at Jesus' baptism, You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased. (Mark 1:11) When the high priest asked if Jesus was the Son of God, Jesus answered, Yes. (Matthew 26:63–66)
The question, who is this, forces people to decide if they are for Jesus or against him – there is no middle ground. The religious elite were against him and arranged his execution. However, many were for Jesus and began following him. We soon read of three thousand converts in one day as the Christian faith began to grow.
These converts were FOR Jesus. They Followed Jesus (Matthew 4.19). They Obeyed Jesus (John 14.15). And they Remained in Jesus (John 15.4). These disciples grew in faith and shared the good news of Jesus with others, all the while challenging people to answer the questions about Jesus for themselves, Who is this? Who do you say he is?
Who do you say Jesus is and why have you come to that conclusion?
Perhaps you could pray asking Jesus to be your Lord and Saviour:
Lord God, I bow my head humbly before you
I confess my sin and wrong doing to you,
I repent of my sin and turn to you
I ask you to forgive me.
I accept you Jesus as my Lord and Saviour
I ask you make me part of your family, the church
I ask you to fill my life with your Holy Spirit
Please help me to live as one of your disciples, to follow, obey and remain in you.
I thank you that you have heard and answered this prayer - Amen
Rev John Malcolm