Sunday, April 14            Luke 19:28-40       Rev. Steve Heyduck

28 After Jesus said this, he continued on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29 As Jesus came to Bethphage and Bethany on the Mount of Olives, he gave two disciples a task. 30 He said, “Go into the village over there. When you enter it, you will find tied up there a colt that no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks, ‘Why are you untying it?’ just say, ‘Its master needs it.’” 32 Those who had been sent found it exactly as he had said. 33 As they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?” 34 They replied, “Its master needs it.” 35 They brought it to Jesus, threw their clothes on the colt, and lifted Jesus onto it. 36 As Jesus rode along, they spread their clothes on the road. 37 As Jesus approached the road leading down from the Mount of Olives, the whole throng of his disciples began rejoicing. They praised God with a loud voice because of all the mighty things they had seen. 38 They said, “Blessings on the king who comes in the name of the Lord. Peace in heaven and glory in the highest heavens.” 39 Some of the Pharisees from the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, scold your disciples! Tell them to stop!” 40 He answered, “I tell you, if they were silent, the stones would shout.”

I love that this reading, chosen by the lectionary for today, begins with: “After Jesus said this, he continued on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.” It’s like they wanted to make sure that the way Luke tells the story of Jesus’ life, this is kind of just “the next step in the story.”

Today is Palm Sunday; the day we remember Jesus’ final entry into Jerusalem before his crucifixion. He was following the path his life and calling had led him to, and Jesus would follow this path through to the end.

“Follow” is an interesting word. It might mean to come along close behind another. It means to apply oneself to some specific act or trade or even set of instructions. So, when we say we follow Jesus, we mean both that we come along closely behind him, and also that we apply ourselves to the kinds of things he did and the instructions he gave.

Sometimes following leads through cheering crowds, and sometimes following leads to betrayal, torture, and even death. But today, Palm Sunday, we take heart in Jesus’ story that even when triumph gives way to defeat, Jesus followed, and we follow Jesus.

Prayer: God, help us to follow you just as Jesus followed.