Living in the Two Hearts

My Spiritual Insights and Musings

John 12:12-19

Are You Part of the “In-Crowd” ?

“The next day a great crowd who had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. 13 So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying, ‘Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!’ 14 And Jesus found a young ass and sat upon it; as it is written, 15 ‘Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your king is coming, sitting on an ass’s colt!’ 16 His disciples did not understand this at first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that this had been written of him and had been done to him. 17 The crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead bore witness. 18 The reason why the crowd went to meet him was that they heard he had done this sign. 19 The Pharisees then said to one another, ‘You see that you can do nothing; look, the world has gone after him.'”

This passage, I find, is full of many different and wonderful levels of meaning and understanding.  To begin with, there are two crowds here.  The first crowd are those who witnessed Lazarus rising from the dead after four days of being in the tomb.  The second crowd are the Pharisees who came among the third crowd, those who came to greet Jesus based on the first crowd’s testimony.  The Pharisees are almost convinced that they will never be able to “do-away” with Jesus because Crowds continue to follow him wherever He goes, thus making it impossible to reach Jesus – also quite dangerous for the crowds could conceivably turn and crush them.  It’s ironic that later, this same crowd will actually help the Pharisees accomplish just that, the “doing-away” with Jesus as they will cry out, “Crucify Him!  Crucify Him! (Jn 19:6, 15)

So how do the Pharisees gain this access to Jesus, and so, effectively change the hearts of the crowd to hatred for Jesus?  By enlisting the help of one of Jesus’ own.  They approach one of His disciples, someone with intimate access to Jesus.  Someone who would be “above suspicion”.  Someone, also, who would be familiar with the Savior’s habits, and knew when would be the best time to cease Him (see Jn 18:2).  This unfortunate soul is of course Judas the Iscariot.  We know he and the other apostles were with Jesus at this time because we read just a few verses above, while Jesus was with Mary, Martha, and Lazarus before heading into Jerusalem (Bethany is located just 2 miles outside of the city), that Mary poured a costly oil over Jesus and Judas made a rather loud complaint about the “waste of ointment” (Jn12:4-5).

Perhaps Judas also observed the Pharisees and overheard their comment?  If so, this may very well be the moment when Judas realized that he could make a little extra money (cf Jn 12:6), and perhaps the Pharisees took this as the opportunity to finally be rid of Jesus who was the cause “of many of the Jews going away and believing in [Him]” (Jn 12:11; see also Jn 2:11).

Whether or not this was the “moment of opportunity” is not important.  What is important is this: We are that crowd, fickle and ever changing, cheering one moment and jeering the next; praising our King and then calling for His crucifixion!  So often many of us are swept away in the “latest fad” or in the “latest scandal”.  So often we prefer the “praise of men more than the praise of God,” (Jn 12:43).  Instead of “standing up” for our God and remaining faithful to Him crying, “Hosanna!  Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” we instead shout, “Crucify Him!”

If only we would remain true to Him!  If only we woud put into practice the Love He has taught us (cf Jn 15:12).  If we would only Honor and Love our God as He has asked us to (cf Mt 22:37), and as He has done for us (cf Genesis 1:26-30).

But we can!  We can start right now, this very minute, this very second we can return to the Lord, our God, for He is waiting for you with open arms (cf Lk 15:20)!  The Father anticipates and waits for our return, so much so, that He is keeping a look-out that He may come running to us, ready with robes and other fine garments that will replace our old and worn out souls.  He will make us ready for the Wedding Feast of the Lamb.  Will you answer His calling out to you?  Will you trust and believe that He is waiting for you with open arms? (see Lk 15:3-24 and apply it directly to yourself).   Will you embrace His Son and receive the forgiveness of your sins? (Col 1:13)  Will you cry out, “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Son of David, have mercy on me!” (cf Jn 12:13, Lk 18:38-39).

I sincerly pray that you will.

Lord Jesus, have mercy on me, a poor sinner.  Please come into my heart and dwell with me, instructing me with Your Love and what I must do to receive eternal life with You.  Son of David, have mercy on me!



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